The mission of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is to increase public understanding of, appreciation for, and participation in the American system of self-government through life stories, arts and culture of an American President.
The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving the Site as a museum and memorial to the only U.S. President elected from the State of Indiana. Open to the public as an educational and historical service, the Site seeks to promote patriotism and citizenship through appropriate educational activities and by artfully exhibiting the Victorian time period as Harrison and his family might have experienced it. We are proud to be designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Benjamin and Caroline Harrison built the home in 1874-1875. Harrison lived in the home until he died in 1901, except for his U.S. Senate and presidential years. His family continued to live in the home until 1913. His second wife, Mary Lord Harrison, made the home a rental property until 1937, when she sold it to the Jordan Conservatory of Music with the understanding that the home and its artifacts would be forever preserved. The school used the home as a dormitory while maintaining certain rooms as presidential museum space. In 1966, a not-for-profit operating foundation was established to run home as a historic site open to the public. From the 1950s until 1974, tours were by appointment only. After a 1974 renovation, the entire home was opened for regular daily tours.
In 2001, the Presidential Site embarked upon an extensive Carriage House reconstruction project and the installation of an elevator and elevette that for the first time allowed full museum access to all visitors, including those with disabilities. In 2003, the museum earned accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. In 2006, the museum was awarded a "Save America's Treasures" matching grant from the National Park Service for site recovery and repair. In 2013, the Presidential Site initiated a successful multi-year Bicentennial grant partnership with the Indiana Statehouse and State Library, enabling Marion and Delaware County 4th grade schoolchildren to visit all three historically significant locations at no cost to the school for admission or transportation.
In 2014, non-profit veteran Charlie Hyde joined the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site as its new president & CEO. Under his leadership the organization has set itself a charge to become "the most innovative, impactful and civically-engaged presidential site in the United States within the next 5 years" and is developing an ambitious 5-year strategic plan for 2016-2020.