History of Governor’s Row:
From the early 1900’s, Topekans referred to the west side of the 800 and 900 blocks of Buchanan Street as “Governor’s Square” or “Governor’s Row,” in recognition of the old Erasmus Bennett place which stood on the southwest corner of 8th and Buchanan. This gran Victorian resisdence served as home for Kansas Governors from 1901 to 1962 before being razed in 1965. Sout of it, six equally impressive, if less ornate, namsions lined the avenue like some imperial guard; hence the neighborhood name: Governor’s Row.
811 SW Buchanan:
Attorney, jurist, oil man, and mortgage broker; C.E. Foote secured a building permit for 811 SW Buchanan on October 2, 1901. However, the best known occupant of this Colonial revival style house was insurance businessman Clyde W. Miller (1875-1940) who was a partner in the famed Miller Ranch of Osage County and a “Kingmaker” in the state Republican Party. During Alf Landon’s 1936 Presidential ceremony, he hosted visiting journalists in his home next to the Governor’s mansion.
Miller remodeled and enlarged the house in 1915 and 1919, with the addition of the first floor ballroom to the rear. Dramatic exterior features include numerous porches and second story story bay windows; one striking detail is the unique gable “paired” Palladian window – a feature found nowhere else in Topeka.
Today, Governor’s Row House serves as an exclusive event location.