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.