Kennedy Building auction Aug. 16

Nathan Thompson

The historic Kennedy Building in the heart of downtown Pawhuska is up for auction starting Aug. 16.

Osage County Commissioners made the decision last week to list the property with Century 21 Neokla for sale and for Chupps Auction Co. to handle the auction. Bidding begins at 2:30 p.m. in front of the Kennedy Building, 550 Kihekah.

Also that day, Chupp Auction will be handling the auction on the Whiting Bed and Bath building, located just north of the Kennedy Building on Kihekah.

According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Kennedy Building was built in 1927 during the oil boom that brought thousands of wildcatters to town. It was known then as the Citizens National Bank building, a title that is still inscribed above the entrance to the building.

The historic nature of the four-story building as a bank is also indicated with vintage “Robbery Alarm” on the northwest corner of the structure.

In 1976, the National Bank of Commerce sold the 26,000 square-foot building to Osage County. County officials renovated the building in 1990 for the Department of Human Services and named it the Kennedy Building, in honor of National Bank of Commerce President Ed Kennedy.

Over the past several years, the Kennedy Building has remained vacant since the Department of Human Services relocated to 1100 Virginia Short Street, just north of Pawhuska Hospital.

Osage County Commissioners had previously milled the idea of selling the Kennedy Building to developers to renovate the interior of the building into residential apartments, something many Pawhuskans objected to.

According to the auction listing, the second and third floors are currently set up for office space. The fourth floor is in need of restoration, but the ground floor still has high vaulted ceilings, exquisite marble work and marble staircases and many of the original bank vaults are located within the building.

For more information on the auction for both the Kennedy Building and the Whiting Bed and Bath, contact Dale and Maria Chupp at 918-630-0495.