The William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Mt. Auburn preserves the birthplace and boyhood home of William Howard Taft, the nation’s 27th President and 10th Chief Justice. The site was established in 1969 to give visitors an understanding of the environment that shaped Taft’s character and philosophy.
The Site consists of two main buildings: the first is the original home owned by William Howard Taft’s parents, Alphonso and Louise Taft. The two-story Greek Revival house, built circa 1835, is a reminder of the elegant era when wealthier Cincinnatians could escape the dirt, heat, smoke and crowded conditions of the lower city.
This family house has been restored to look as it did during the time William lived there. All the family portraits and many of the books on display belonged to the Taft family. The first floor has five rooms restored: William’s birthplace, and four rooms representative of the period. The furniture and decorative pieces are period pieces selected to match the type of furnishings the Taft family would have had in their home between 1857 and 1877 and did not necessarily belong to the Tafts. The second floor contains exhibits on the accomplishments of William.
The second building is the National Historic Site’s Visitor Center, officially called the Taft Education Center. The Center opened in 1999. The exhibits and displays build upon the story told at the family house, detailing the past, present, and ongoing achievements of the Taft family and their legacy. The Taft Education Center has an audio-animatronic exhibit of William’s son Charles Phelps Taft II fishing and telling stories about his father and other members of the Taft family, a short biographical film on William Howard Taft, as well as office and a National Park Service gift shop.