Historical places: The William Howard Taft Historical Site

CINCINNATI -- As part of an ongoing series, WCPO took a look inside the William Howard Taft National Site, which was the birthplace of the 27th president of the United States.

Originally known as the "Alphonso Taft Home," the Greek Revival style house at 2038 Auburn Ave., in Mount Auburn, is where Taft lived until he was 18 years old. He went on to be the first person in history to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the United States. 

After years of renovations, the William Howard Taft site reopened to the public as a museum. It remains open every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. except for Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Thanksgiving.

Check out below for photos and facts about this piece of Cincinnati history.

The Alphonso Taft Home

The William Howard Taft National Site is Greek Revival style house originally built in the 1840s. Alphonso Taft, William's father, bought the home in 1851 and added an addition to the back of the structure to make room for his growing family. It was originally known as the Alphonso Taft Home.

The Library

This is the library where William Howard Taft's family spent time together. The furnishings used inside the house are either exact replicas of what the Taft's owned or pieces from the same time period. 

The Parlor

The National Parks of Service took over management of the house and it became a National Historic Site by 1969. Taft's mother, Louise Maria Torrey, played the piano. The piano in this not the one she used, but is from the same time period.

William Howard Taft's Bedroom

This is the room historians believe William Howard Taft was born in on Sept. 15, 1857. He was one of six children to be raised inside the home.

The Museum

After years of renovations, the second floor of the William Howard Taft National Site was eventually turned into a museum where visitors can gain insight into the life of the nation's 27th president.

Alphonso Taft's Desk

This desk belonged to Alphonso Taft, who was a successful lawyer. The desk was originally kept at his downtown office. Alphonso moved to Cincinnati in 1851 where he bought his family's property in Mount Auburn.

Mystery Tapestry


This is a tapestry that remains framed inside the William Howard Taft Historic Site. According to historians, the tapestry was delivered to the site when renovations were taking place, but no one knows of its origin. The staff decided the hang the tapestry inside the museum, but without a label.

Taft Family Bible

This is the Bible William Howard Taft used during his swearing-in ceremonies as both the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913) and the 10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930).


If You Go
Hours: The site is open seven days a week from 8:00 am. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Jan. 1,Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Admission is free. Tours occur every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour.
Phone: (513) 684-3262
Website: http://www.nps.gov/wiho/index.htm
Address: 2038 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219


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