The Old Glory, New Vision capital campaign is funding a stunning transformation of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. One that will increase our visibility. Create a more civically engaged community by improving liveability and walkability surrounding the Presidential Site. Demonstrating a greater sense of prestige and purpose to our beautiful grounds. All while facilitating experiences that bring our mission to life in new, vibrant, and unforgettable ways.
For the Presidential Site, located at 13th and Delaware in downtown Indianapolis, a National Historic Landmark, an American Alliance of Museums (AAM)-accredited museum, and an organization that serves more than 30,000 visitors annually (17,500 of whom are students), this project is long overdue. Visibility, lack of signage, perceived lack of access are all key challenges for the Presidential Site. The $6M Old Glory, New Vision campaign is allowing us to meet those challenges and sustain the Presidential Site’s beauty and historical significance to come.
The centerpiece of the capitol project is the Johnson-Floyd Family Presidential Commons that will sustain the purpose and increase the prominence of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Exciting features included in the Presidential Commons are the Stan and Sandy Hurt Presidential Promenade; the Presidential Medallions made possible through the generosity of the Efroymson Family Fund; and in the Sarah Evans Barker Citizenship Plaza, the Book of History made possible by Georgianne Neal and Andrea Neal, the Charters of Freedom made possible by Elaine Kops-Bedel and Eric Bedel, and the 89-ft Centennial Flagpole, presented by Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity.
The Neighborway will restore east-west pedestrian and bicycle access from Delaware Street to Pennsylvania Street via a paved walkway, improving walkability and bikeability. The Allen Whitehill Clowes Gateway Gardens will provide natural beauty and a place to reflect in the center of the city’s urban landscape.
The new Sarah Evans Barker Citizenship Plaza will begin hosting annual naturalization ceremonies in July 2022. Are you a naturalized citizen? Was your ceremony held at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site? We would like to add you to our Book of History. Contact the Presidential Site at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. And please see the article in the Indianapolis Business Journal from Central Indiana Corporate Partnership CFO & COO, Latoya Botteron, for additional perspective. To learn more about The Honorable Sarah Evans Barker and her important legacy, her biography by Cassidy Segura Clouse can be found SEB Leadership Biography.
Construction is set to be complete at the end of March 2022 and a public dedication will take place this spring. Details will be posted here!See Gallery
We should not forget that Benjamin Harrison—Hoosier; citizen soldier; African-American voting rights advocate—was the 23rd president of the United States and the only president ever elected from Indiana. And we should not forget the monumental significance of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site itself.
The Old Glory, New Vision capital campaign is making the Presidential Site truly unforgettable. With over $6 million raised, we are transforming our grounds, elevating our national profile, and reclaiming our shared place in the landscape of American history.
At the heart of the Presidential Site is the Harrison residence itself. Built nearly 150 years ago by Benjamin and Caroline Harrison, its stone and brick walls contain more history per square inch than many larger museums. However, it is in need of essential maintenance and renovations.
Over $1 million of our fundraising efforts will ensure the home continues to be structurally and functionally sound well into the future, and continues to educate and serve tens of thousands of students and visitors each year. Using our 2019 Historic Structures Report as a guide, we are restoring and strengthening the residence to ensure it stands for another 150 years. Restoration and maintenance work completed under the guidance of historic preservation professionals ensures the proper stewardship of this nationally significant property for future generations. These improvements enhance the public’s understanding of the stories interpreted at the Presidential Site, providing incentive for past visitors to return while offering added benefits for the surrounding neighborhood and larger community. In these ways, the Presidential Site remains a relevant, vibrant gathering place for engaging with history in a way that can inform our present and shape our future.
Beginning in 2022, we are reimagining the third floor exhibit space to create an enhanced visitor experience, restore the space to a closer interpretation of the original space, and dedicate the Harrison Family Presidential Library. Restoration, maintenance, and construction in the residence will be ongoing through 2022 and dedicated in 2023.
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity and enthusiastic support of our donors, friends, and advocates, we have surpassed our $6 million goal by 13%! In 2019 when we began this journey with a goal of $3.75 million, we had no idea that we would surpass that number by more than 81%. To date, our campaign totals more than $6.7 million.
We are grateful to the 535 donors who joined us in this effort – coming from 26 different states, 151 different cities, and 55 Indiana counties.
This in no way means that our work is done! There is so much still to do – and build, preserve, and grow. Please continue to spread the word about OldGloryNewVision.org!
Questions? Contact Bethany Gosewehr at email@example.com.
Due to inclement weather, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will be closed for tours on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.
Thank you for being an important part of the Presidential Site and sharing a legacy in action!