Kenworthy Hall, also known as the Carlisle-Martin House and Carlisle Hall, is located on the north side of Alabama Highway 14, two miles west of the Marion courthouse square. It was built from 1858 to 1860 and is one of the best preserved examples of Richard Upjohn's distinctive asymmetrical Italian villa style. It is the only surviving residential example of Upjohn's Italian villa style that was especially designed to suit the Southern climate and the plantation lifestyle.
It has a massive four-story tower, windows of variable size and shape with brownstone trim, and a distinctly Southern division of family and public spaces. The building was designed and constructed for Edward Kenworthy Carlisle as his primary family residence and the centerpiece of his 440-acre (1.8 sq km) estate. It, along with some of its surrounding ancillary structures, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2004. The house and a purported ghost are featured as a short story in Kathryn Tucker Windham's 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.
Kenworthy Hall is closely related to a series of Italian villa style residences that Upjohn designed in the Atlantic Northeast, most notably the Edward King House in Newport, Rhode Island. But in this house Upjohn designed a residence adapted to a hot, humid climate and a plantation lifestyle. The most obvious adaptations were the wide cross hall at the rear of the main entrance hall, the detached kitchen, and the full width rear porch. Edward Carlisle's correspondence with Upjohn stressed that the house use the finest materials and the best construction. The house is built in brick, including the interior walls.
The original standing-seam terne roof survives to the present. Kenworthy Hall features a partial basement, three separate stairways, three large hallways, seven major rooms on the first floor, six major rooms on the second floor, a large attic, a third floor tower room, and a fourth floor tower room. Ancillary structures that contribute to the National Historic Landmark status of the house include the detached two-room brick kitchen, a brick smokehouse, a partially buried brick water cistern, and a brick and wood well house. The house also originally had its own gas plant for gas lighting, though this is now marked only by a brick and brownstone platform.