President Benjamin Harrison Home

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President Benjamin Harrison Home carriage house

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Constructed in the early 1880s, by the 1930s the President Benjamin Harrison Home carriage house was deteriorating and underutilized, leading to its demolition in 1937.

To reconstruct this structure in 2000, RATIO preservationists used archeological excavations and Sanbourne maps to establish an approximate footprint. Archeological interpretations established that the ground floor was divided into three bays; one that housed the carriage, one that housed the horse stalls, and another later addition that housed the feed and harnessing room.

Oral histories and limited historic documentation confirmed these functions, while revealing that the second floor provided a loft for the driver and groomsman. Historic photographs established the proportions, materials, site relationships, and details of the east elevation, which guided the exterior appearance of the building.

The carriage house’s reconstruction features interpretive spaces approximating the original carriage house functions and appearance, including exposed wood framing, forged iron hardware, brick paving, and specialized concrete flooring resembling a dirt floor. The second floor provides a spacious, modern loft apartment for the on-site caretaker.