Keller-Bennett House


Keller-Bennett House

Mrs. Mary A. Keller built this Prairie-style home with Colonial Revival influences in 1907.  Later owned by Homer & Stella Strowig, who owned and operated the Plaza Theater (earlier known as the Bonebrake Theater).

2018 Homes for the Holidays Tour

When Rob and Dawn Hammatt were asked what they like most about their home at 407 N. Vine, they didn't have time to answer.
"The kitchen!" came the immediate response from, well, the kitchen, where contractor Justin Hickens (aka Wizard of Odds and Ends) was working late toward completing its

After the laughs and knowing looks passed: What is the most unusual feature of your
home? Again, it took only an instant. "The kitchen!"

Without question, the kitchen is one of the most dramatically changed rooms in the house the Hammatts bought last year when Dawn was hired to head the Eisenhower Library and Museum. It may have the only countertop in Abilene that comes with its own remote.

"The countertops are 1 ¼ inch glass," says Rob. Embedded lighting can be controlled via a remote.

But what attracted the Hammatts to the house was its core.

"We bought it because the street was beautiful, and the house had a lot of character on the outside," Rob explains.

The Prairie Style house was built in 1907 by Mary Keller. Over the past 110 years owners included Drs. Harry and Millie Bennett, Homer and Stella Strowig, Henry and
Catherine Wise, and Les and Ann Young. Recently the 300 and 400 blocks of North Vine Street were designated a historic district and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"It is a good, solid home," says Dawn.

One of the first steps was to hire an expert in the color schemes of historic homes. They ended up repainting the exterior using six colors.

"It was nice to have him guide us through the process," Dawn says.

Inside, the Hammatts added a flurry of modern touches. There is the kitchen, of course, which features not only clear glass countertops, but a flooring material used in airport
terminals (made with recycled aluminum, glass and quartz). The dining room light fixture is a white orb that can change in size.

Dawn calls it the Death Star.

"We like simple, clean lines," Rob says. "In every room, the woodwork was painted the same color as walls. Now you'll see everywhere it's a different shade of gray, with white

Most of the art on the walls was created by either Rob or Dawn. One exception: a print Rob bought for Dawn that is (fittingly) titled "Twilight."

And some of the historic features are the Hammatts' favorites. When they remodeled the upstairs bathroom, they took care to preserve the green and white tile. And while they added a central air-conditioning unit for the upstairs, they are delighted by the primary heating system - steam-heated radiators.

The Youngs had the radiators sand-blasted and then painted Cadillac gold.

Property Details

Kansas Historic Resources Inventory
Built in
407 North Vine Street, Abilene, KS, USA