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NILES Replica McKinley house back on track



Published: Sat, May 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Groundbreaking initially was expected next month.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

NILES -- Officials expect to break ground in the fall on a replica of President McKinley's birthplace.

The two-story house will be erected on two parcels on North Main Street, between Ole Main Ale and Chowder House and Dollar General.

Groundbreaking initially was expected to be next month with construction completed in time for the 158th anniversary of McKinley's birth in January. The expected completion has been pushed back to June 2002.

"We got the land later than we expected," Patrick Finan, director of McKinley Memorial Library.

History: McKinley was born Jan. 29, 1843, at the site. His parents had moved from Lisbon between 1840 and 1842 to operate an iron forge. McKinley was elected president in 1896 and re-elected in 1900. He was shot by an anarchist Sept. 6, 1901, in Buffalo, N.Y., and died Sept. 14, 1901.

"We hope to have it open for the tour season next year," Finan said.

National City Bank owned the land and donated it to the city.

"The city was in a much better position to get money to take down the building," Finan said. "The city got a state grant to take down the building."

The city then gave the site to the library.

Design: The design will use photographs and descriptions of the house.

"It will be in two parts," the director said. "The front will be how we think the McKinley House looked back then following some of the research we've done."

The rear of the building will house a resource center and library with McKinley materials.

"We'd like to put a meeting room on the second floor so that we can have bus tours come in," Finan said.

A computer lab will be in the basement for public use.

The front part of the house will be furnished and decorated with pieces from the period including antique pieces and replicas. McKinley had no children, and most of his and his wife's personal possessions were sold when they died.

"There are some smaller items that we own and if anyone has McKinley furniture, we're always on the lookout for it," Finan said.




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