Description - The William Howard Taft National Historic Site commemorates the only man to serve as President and Chief Justice of the United States. The house that Taft was born in has been restored to its original appearance. A visit to the site includes a tour of the restored birthplace and four period rooms that reflect the family life during Taft's boyhood. The home also includes second floor exhibits highlighting Taft's life and career. The Taft Education Center, located adjacent to the birthplace, houses an orientation video, exhibits on later generations of the Taft family, and classrooms for visiting schools. The signature exhibit of the center is an animatronic figure of the President's Son, Charlie Taft. Charlie tells stories about different family members.
- In addition to the home and education center being open to the casual visitor, this National Park Service site features programs for school groups. A favorite is the Junior Ranger Program geared for visitors ranging in age 6-12. While taking a guided tour of the home, the junior visitors answer questions in an activity book. Upon completion, they receive a badge and certificate.
School group programs include:
Measure of a Man or Woman, Grades 3-4, 1 1/2 hours: Students will play the roles of various Taft family members, while others portray newspaper reporters interviewing this important family for information about a time gone by. Students receive pre-site information booklets to help them prepare for their roles. Period costumes and accessories help students bring the characters to life.
Toys Tots and Taft, Grades K -3, 1 1/2 hours: Travel back in time to an era before computer games, music videos, and battery operated techno toys. Students will get a taste of the toys and games enjoyed by William Howard Taft and his siblings as they were growing up in the family's home on Mount Auburn. Wooden tops, tiddly winks, marbles, and toy soldiers sparked the imaginations of children of that era. This program provides a context to which young children can relate for touring this historic site.
School programs at the site are aimed at providing hands-on participatory activities to help students learn about this important family and appreciate the value of public service at an age and grade appropriate level. NPS will tailor a tour for grade levels not mentioned above.
The house and education center are accessible to wheelchairs. There is an elevator to the exhibits on the second floor. All visitors should observe the safety warnings while touring the site.
Recreation - The main recreation at this NPS site is the touring of the family home and birthplace of the only man to serve as President and Chief Justice of the United States. The Taft Education Center houses an orientation video, exhibits on later generations of the Taft family, and classrooms for visiting schools. The site is open seven days a week from 8 AM to 4 PM. It is closed January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25.
Climate - Weather in Cincinnati is usually moderate with temperatures averaging 31 degrees in winter, and 76 degreesin summer. In general, Ohio has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
The William Howard Taft NHS is located in the Mount Auburn section of Cincinnati, Ohio.
When entering the area from Interstate 71 North, take Exit 2 (Reading and Florence). Stay in right lane, turn left at first stoplight onto Dorchester Street and go to the top of the hill. Turn right on Auburn Avenue and go 1 1/2 blocks to the home.
When entering the area from Interstate 71 South, take Exit 3 (Taft Road). Go 3/4 mile to Auburn Avenue. Turn left and go 1/2 mile to the home.
There is visitor parking in front of the Taft Education Center, located adjacent to the Taft home.