The League-Kempner House
The magnificent 1893 League-Kempner House is one of the few remaining "Broadway Beauties" in Galveston, Texas. After years of neglect, this amazing house was at risk of collapse and was placed on the Galveston Historical Foundation's Heritage at Risk List.
Purchased in January 2021 by Janie Mitcham, who was committed to restoring it to its former glory, the house has been transferred to a non profit to ensure that it can be preserved for future generations. This once abandoned Victorian mansion is undergoing a massive restoration. Designed by noted architect Nicholas Clayton, this Galveston historical treasure is slowly coming back to life.
Restoration of this historic house is not easy, and the extensive yard and gardens add to the complexity and expense.
Real estate investor and self-described “capitalist” John Charles League and his wife Cornelia “Nellie” Ball commissioned Nicholas J. Clayton to design their new residence in 1892. The expansive three-story house with a basement covers one of the largest lots on Broadway and includes the principal dwelling, a garage, extensive gardens, and greenhouse.
After League’s death in 1916, Eliza Kempner, matriarch of the Kempner family, acquired the house that remained in the family until 1972. Houston architect Birdsall Briscoe enclosed the second-floor porch of the curved bay and added a garden room at the back of the house in 1920.