A $6 million upgrade is starting at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis that leaders say is aimed at increasing its visibility and connections with the surrounding neighborhood.
The project’s plans include a new plaza and outdoor commons area for visitors to the home of the only Indiana resident elected president of the United States.
New signs will be installed to highlight the site to those driving through the Old Northside and an 89-foot-tall flagpole visible from nearby Interstate 65/70 will fly both the U.S. and presidential flags. Interior work on the house built in 1874-75 will include updated display cases and a new research library on the third floor.
Harrison Presidential Site CEO Charlie Hyde said the project will transform the grounds and allow new outdoor educational opportunities and events.
The Arthur Jordan Foundation and Lilly Endowment have each given $1.5 million toward the project, with organizers saying they’ve raised more than $5.5 million toward their $6 million goal.
Harrison was an attorney, a founding member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and a U.S. Army general before serving as a Republican U.S. senator from Indiana. He was elected president in 1888 and returned to his Indianapolis home after losing his re-election bid in 1892.