You Can Be a History Hero!

You can preserve one of the last grand parlors of the Parlor City, once home to the fascinating Kilmer family.

With every dollar you give, you are rebuilding the Kilmer Mansion’s deteriorated porches, stone by stone. You are restoring the collapsed floor of the north terrace. You are making sure that the Mansion remains accessible to everyone. 

Your donation brings us one step closer to the day when we can restore the entire Mansion to its former glory. Don’t let history crumble — keep history strong in our community!

Please make your donation today to the Jonas Kilmer Restoration and Preservation Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York. Just click the button below!

One of the most eye-catching buildings on Binghamton’s West Side, the Kilmer Mansion… stands out with its turrets and gargoyles. The Kilmers stamped their name all across Binghamton, literally etching it in stone on buildings they owned.WICZ

Our community has lost too many special places through neglect and demolition. As these places disappear, pieces of our history and identity are destroyed along with them.

Your kind donation today will ensure that you can step into your community’s past. You can engage with history where it happened. You can thrill to the sound of music within the Mansion’s breathtaking walls. And you can share unforgettable moments with others who love and appreciate history, art, and music as much as you do.

Want to share your time and talents to preserve this unique piece of your home’s history? Volunteer with Friends of Kilmer Mansion!

Past

In 1890 many of Binghamton’s wealthiest families lived in palatial mansions just west of the Chenango River on Riverside Drive. At that time four mansions lined the south side of the drive…Three of the mansions are long gone…

Treasures of the Tier
The Rose and Kilmer Mansions

The Kilmer family has a fascinating and colorful history. They were creators of the famed Swamp Root remedy. Founders of the Binghamton Press. And owners of Kentucky Derby winner, Exterminator. They even sold their private yacht Remlik (read it backwards) to the Navy to serve as an armored patrol vessel during World War I.


Jonas M. Kilmer had one child, Willis Sharpe Kilmer. They built exquisite mansions, side-by-side, at the east end of Riverside Drive.

Old photo of a mansion in disrepair.
The boarded up and crumbling Robert H. Rose Mansion. To this day, only an empty lot remains.


The Willis Sharpe Kilmer Mansion was torn down decades ago. So was its next-door neighbor, the Edward Rose Mansion. The Robert Rose Mansion (pictured to the right and below) was demolished in 1980 despite protests. Since 1950, Temple Concord has been steward to the Jonas M. Kilmer Mansion, saving it from the fate of its three sister mansions.


The destruction of the
Robert H. Rose Mansion in 1980.

Present

The Jonas M. Kilmer Mansion is the sole survivor of the four original mansions. It is home to one of the last grand parlors of the Parlor City.

Built in 1898, it is part home and part castle. It features turrets and towers, ballrooms and balconies. Visitors will find fine stonework and masterful woodwork.

The mansion is never uninhabited. Lions roar on the exterior. A gargoyle peeks out from beneath the eaves. A dragon guards the entrance. And painted angels dance across the ceiling.

You can savor the unique beauty of this historic treasure. Join us for tours, music concerts, and other special events!

Want to be among the first to hear about the latest news and upcoming events at the Mansion? Click the button below to join our email list!

With thanks to Treasures of the Tier and Woodbine Photography

Read more at Treasures of the Tier, the Kilmer mansion article from WICZ, Bottle Books, and Willis Sharpe Kilmer on Wikipedia (the sources for much of the information here).

Future

Preserve the irreplaceable Kilmer Mansion and keep history strong in our community!

Make your gift today to the Jonas Kilmer Mansion Restoration and Preservation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York. 

Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and make a meaningful difference. Individuals who make a gift of $10,000 or more will be gratefully acknowledged on a plaque displayed in the Mansion. Naming Opportunities and Recognition Levels can be found below. For more information, please contact lisa@kilmermansion.org.

Naming Opportunities

Recognition Levels

Contact

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The Kilmer Mansion Masonry Restoration Project has been funded in part by grants from:
The Community Foundation for South Central New York — David and Virginia Eisenberg Fund
The Community Foundation for South Central New York — Sam and Julia Selkowitz Fund
John E Streb Fund for New York of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program
Harvey & Elizabeth Prior Shriber Foundation
Jacob and Rose Olum Foundation
Temple Concord Foundation

Donate throught the Community Foundation for South Central NY

The Community Foundation for South Central New York – a nonprofit, publicly supported, locally governed organization founded in 1997 – encourages and facilitates personal and institutional philanthropy throughout the region by, managing philanthropic funds within the Foundation’s overall endowment that are established either by the Foundation itself or by donors (individuals, families, others) to achieve specific charitable goals. The Jonas Kilmer Preservation and Restoration Fund is one of over 120 funds managed by the Foundation.

Absent a specific restriction imposed by a donor, the Community Foundation is permitted by law to expend so much of an endowment fund as it deems prudent after considering the factors set forth in Not-for-Profit Corporation Law Section 553(a).

A copy of the Community Foundation for South Central New York’s Annual Report may be obtained, upon request, from us directly or from the NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau at 120 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, New York, 10271.