When the Alfred Landon family decided to continue making Topeka its home after Landon's term as governor expired, Mrs. Theo Landon started looking for a suitable residence. She approached Madge MacLennan, the widow of Frank MacLennan, the owner and publisher of the Topeka State Journal, about purchasing her French-Norman style home in western Topeka. The home, designed by Kansas City architect, William D. Wright, was built in 1928 at the cost of $60,000. It was located on a hill overlooking the Kansas River to the north.
Mrs. MacLennan responded that she couldn't think of anyone she would rather sell to but that she couldn't accept the Landon's offer and that someday they would understand why. Mrs. Landon guessed the reason why Mrs. MacLennan refused her offer, but Mrs. MacLennan never gave her a personal explanation.
The reason became apparent after Mrs. MacLennan's death in November 1955. Her will gave the home and 20 acres of land to the State of Kansas for use as a governor's residence. The 1957 Legislature voted to accept title to the property, but it was not until remodeling funds were appropriated in 1961 that a Kansas governor's family took up residence in our current executive residence known as Cedar Crest.
Cedar Crest was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Entry: Cedar Crest
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2003
Date Modified: November 2012
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.