In the News


Save America's Treasures Grant

SAT-1The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site was awarded a Save America's Treasures (SAT) site-improvement grant from the National Park Service in early 2006 in the amount of $197,058. Much work ensued to match this grant dollar-for-dollar with non-federal sources, and oversee $400,000 worth of recovery, repair and renovation of the President's home.

Ratio Architects was our architectural engineer, and Brandt Construction was our general contractor. The campaign itself commenced with pledges from our current and former Board members amounting to 41% of the total goal! The R.B. Annis Educational Foundation contributed $25,000 toward the update and repair of the education classroom. The Lilly Endowment generously provided $40,000. The Arthur Jordan Foundation committed $35,000. And the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust rounded out the matching requirement with a helpful $30,000 gift. The remaining matching funds poured in from private individuals to whom we remain extremely grateful.

Our gratitude to all who have helped position us to accomplish this restoration and repair work that we have dreamed of for many years. We invite you to visit the museum anytime to experience the "new look" of historical accuracy. The renovations were featured in Angie's List, and the photographs below are a mere sampling of all the site work accomplished with this grant, including wallpaper, carpeting, medallion replacement, plaster work, brick walkway repair, tuck-pointing, etc. 

Library Before Library After
Dining Room Before Dining Room After
Second Floor Stairs Before Second Floor Stairs After
Second Floor Hallway Before Second Floor Hallway After
Walkway Before Walkway After with Herringbone Design
Medallion Before Medallion After

Thank you to the following community members and foundations for ensuring that a very competitive federal grant was quickly matched to accomplish $400,000 worth of renovations at the home of Indiana's only U.S. president.

  • R.B. Annis Educational Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Arthur Jordan Foundation
  • Peggy Boehm
  • Mr. and Mrs. William A. Browne, Jr.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Eugene M. Busche
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Christianson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Dan R. DeMars
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Everitt
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Ewbank
  • Johnson Weaver Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. David Geis
  • Mr. and Mrs. Stan C. Hurt
  • Mr. Tom C. Huston
  • Thomas A. and Verletta S. King
  • Lilly Endowment Inc.
  • Mr. and Mrs. William K. McGowan, Jr.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Boris and Marian* Meditch
  • Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Miller
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Morsman, III
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kimball H. Morsman
  • Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
  • Hon. and Mrs. Julian L. Ridlen
  • Doug and Michelle Rose
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sogard
  • Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Steele
  • Mr. and Mrs. Henry* and Patricia* Stevens
  • Dr. Eugene R. Tempel
  • Erin and Kevin Trisler
  • UBS Foundation USA

* deceased


Fun House Facts

674-del-webThe President's home is part of The Old Northside Neighborhood. The boundaries of this community are 16th Street on the North; Pennsylvania Street on the West; Interstate I-65 on the South; and Bellefontaine Street on the East. 

From the time Harrison purchased the empty lot in 1868 until the last room was painted in 1875, his northside home had cost $29,000. With H. Brandt as the architect and Petrie and Cummings as excavators, the 10,000 square-foot-home, complete with 16 rooms, three stories and a basement, was finished in one year. Two-feet-thick Indiana limestone made up the basement and 380,550 bricks completed the home. The finest French plate windows were installed along with three conveniences not enjoyed by most Victorians: running water (in the kitchen, washroom and second-floor bathroom), a coal-fed furnace, 23 working gaslight fixtures and 12-foot ceilings.

Water pipe was laid (312 ft.), 86 feet of furnace pipe installed, as well as 12 registers, 670 feet of gas pipe, slate roofing, a coal chute, a laundry stove and a burglar alarm, which consisted of bells and strings attached to the doors.

Outside the home, two soft maples, four sugar maples, one elm and one oak were planted, and 153 feet of fencing was built. The pickets of this fence would be stolen 13 years later as souvenirs by the crowds that gathered for campaign speeches.

Benjamin and Caroline Harrison chose everything, from the interior layout to the Italianate red brick design. The carriage house was also constructed at the same time, with three bays and upstairs quarters for the coachman.

“An American citizen could not be a good citizen who did not have a hope in his heart.” ~ Benjamin Harrison

Share Harrison's passion for giving and become a member, donor or volunteer of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.