William Allen White House

Also known as: Red Rocks
927 Exchange St., Emporia, Kansas


Photo taken by Ron Reber in August 2018




This site was the home of William Allen White, nationally revered and internationally influential editor of The Emporia Gazette, from 1899 until his death in 1944. It was here that White and his family entertained several United States presidents and other important policy-makers as well as cultural luminaries including writer Edna Ferber, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his Taliesin fellows, poet Walt Mason, and countless other guests. White's important national role as an editor, writer and political advisor inspired designating his home a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The site consists of three structures - the main house, White's mother's house, and a garage - on four adjoining town lots unified by a terraced garden. After the renovation of the three-story main house in 1920-21, by the Kansas City Architectural firm of Wight and Wight, the exterior was changed from an elaborate Queen Anne-styled confection to a more sedate, sophisticated Tudor Revival. This house takes its name, "Red Rocks," from the red Colorado sandstone of the first story, while the two top stories are of red pressed brick, stucco, and wood strips designed to appear as half-timbering. White's mother, Mary Ann Hatten White, lived in the adjacent foursquare house from c. 1904 until her death in 1924. The foursquare house type was very common throughout the middle west in the first two decades of the twentieth century, but here the exterior is made more elaborate by the use of polychrome brick and limestone window lintels and sills - a rather expensive and perhaps somewhat urban treatment for an otherwise ordinary folk house type in a small town. The Kansas State Historical Society is currently renovating the site in preparation for public tours. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS KS-81)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 14, 1971
Reference number
NR name
White, William Allen, House
Areas of significance
Literature; Politics/Government; Architecture; Communications; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Significant years
1899; 1944

Update Log 

  • August 5, 2018: New photos from Ron Reber