Scenic USA - Ohio

McKinley Birthplace Memorial

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National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Library and Museum - Niles, Ohio

Photos by Jack Ryan
Jack's Zenfolio Gallery

     Dazzled with colorful Spanish architecture, Venetian canals, the latest scientific displays, National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Library and Museum noval transportation inventions and an incredible display of incandescent lights, eleven million guests were welcomed into the 20th century at the Pan Am Expo in Buffalo, New York. America was excited about these modern marvels and also a chance to meet their newly reelected President. The first President in twenty-five years to earn a second term, William McKinley greeted a long line of well-wishers at the Pan Am Expo. In the line was Leon Czolgosz, who waited patiently to kill the President. Concealing a pistol in his hand with a handkerchief, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range before being mobbed. Without an experienced surgeon at the Expo, America's 25th President died the following week of infection. Despite its magical appearance and architectural splendor, the expo will always be remembered for the assassination of President McKinley.
     Here in McKinley's hometown of Niles, Ohio, President William H. Taft's first executive order authorized the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Library and Museum in 1909. Competition for a plan of the memorial produced a two story Beaux-Art design. Built of Georgian marble, McKinley's memorial featuring both Greek and Roman design elements. The central atrium, or Court of Honor, highlights the McKinley statue, surrounded by a library, memorial auditorium, and a museum dedicated to McKinley mementoes. Well worn from nearly a century of use and Ohio's harsh elements, the structure underwent a full scale restoration project in 2007, the first major repair since it was first built. McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center The marble facade was refurbished, statues were cleaned and renewed, and older inappropriate repairs were corrected. During roofing repairs, original skylights were uncovered and returned to operable use.
     Nearby the McKinley Memorial and Library, the reconstructed McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center is furnished with period pieces matching the era when McKinley was in office. While the birthplace home is only open to the public on weekends during the summer, the museum and library welcome guests seven days a week throughout the year, excluding certain holidays.

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