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“Old and Majestic Home”

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Ranked #15 of 175 things to do in Indianapolis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 26 April 2014

This was a very interesting field trip I took with my daughter's class. I learned alot about a President that was only president for a short time but it was very interesting, very well done and reasonable.

1  Thank Bob and Barb H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (258)
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174 - 178 of 258 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

We toured the Benjamin Harrison Home while on a recent Indy visit as we enjoy history, old homes and my son got extra credit in school if he comes back with notes. I was surprised by the extent of the tour

The home is well restored and gives a great representation of what the house was like when Gen. Harrison lived there. (We learned he preferred General to President when being addressed). Harrison is not one of the best know presidents, so we learned a lot about him and his times on the tour. The tour is extensive; all three floors of the home plus the coach house. On a lot of these tours you only get to see the first floor or maybe selected bedrooms. Our guide had extensive knowledge of the home and Gen. Harrison. He was honest when he did not know the answer. The home has had only 2 owners since new, and much of the furniture in the home was actually owned by the Harrisons. There are also some items owned by Harrison's grandfather, William Henry Harrison.

There has been an elevator installed in the home and I assume that it is available to those with disabilities.

Overall, the tour lasted over 90 minutes.

2  Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014

This beautifully preserved Presidential home is a joy for all ages. There are many Harrison pieces throughout the house and most part the home is accessible for viewing. In the summer the grounds are also beautifully kept, I expect as they were when the President and his family lived there.

2  Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is one of the better presidential homes I have been too. The house itself is classic Victorian architecture and is interesting on its own. The museum tour guides are very knowledgeable. The museum really helps you appreciate and respect Benjamin Harrison, a President that many people do not know about. Decided to give this attraction a four and not a five because presidential homes are naturally not the most interesting attractions and the tour could be shortened by about fifteen minutes. Still, this attraction should be visited by anyone interested in politics or history.

1  Thank Kenny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

This is a lovely Victorian home decked out with all the over-the-top bling of that era. Benjamin Harrison lived here before and after his one term as President and his widow (his second wife) outlived him by many years and kept the place exactly as he left it: filled with tchotchkes and mementos of a President whose impressive beard puts the Duck Dynasty guys to shame. He had an interesting collection of portraits, carved canes and lithographs, and his first wife (the First Lady) was an artist. The most interesting artifact was a 19th-century mechanical CD player/music box in Harrison's parlor; it produced quite a sound on wind-up power only. There is also an interesting display about subsequent First Ladies on the third floor. Be advised that there are steep stairs and no elevator.
The downside: This is not a national park service or state-run site; the home is privately owned and the tours are led by retired volunteers, so the quality of your tour will hinge on the competence and enthusiasm of your tour guide. We went the day before a holiday when the home was short staffed. There is no waiting room and even though we had pre-paid online for a scheduled 1:30 p.m. tour, we had to wait outside in the cold and the tour guide was 20 minutes late unlocking the door and letting us in to start. Unfortunately our tour guide that day seemed to be "phoning it in" and went through a dull recitation of names and dates and objects but offered little context as to who Benjamin Harrison was or what he did as President. (Maybe he was just having a bad day.) A different tour guide leading the tour behind us seemed to do so with more enthusiasm and conviviality. The home is not open on Sundays in the winter, but they resume Sunday tours in the spring. I was told that the best time to go is on a Sunday. Call ahead and ask if "the Butler" tour guide is available and schedule your Sunday tour with him on a non-holiday weekend. Considering that this is an all-volunteer operation, they do an excellent job of preserving this beautiful old home, but the quality of the tour varies depending on who is leading it, and for the $10 ticket price we expected a little more quality. We just picked the wrong day but would see the place again with a different guide.
Those who would get the most out of this attraction are fans of historic homes, presidential history buffs and retirees. Young children and teens would likely find it too static and slow paced.

4  Thank ObservantTraveler_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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