The McKinley School is a restored school along Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio that was built in 1876 and expanded upon in 1919.
The facility was constructed along Tennyson Street in the Italianate and Jacobethan style in 1876. 1 2 Significant features included red brick walls with vertical accentuation, pilasters, tall 12/12 windows, and a gable roof. 2 A framing plan for the roof was drawn by H. Siter in the 1890s, and E.H. Dornette made arrangements for the alteration of the toilet rooms in 1909. Stage lighting in the gymnasium was installed by the Kliegi Brothers Lighting Company of New York.
In 1919, a two-story addition was along Eastern Avenue that contrasted sharply with the original structure. 1 The new wing featured light brown brick, a limestone water table, and terra cotta trim with a heraldic motif over the main entrance and at the top of the square entry tower. 2 The kindergarten doorway featured an art glass transom, and small Florentine glass windows adjacent to the door.
The combined buildings featured 21 classrooms, three offices, a child care room, cafeteria, and gymnasium. 1 Improvements included new boilers in 1972 and 1981.
The McKinley School closed in December 2005, 1 and the Board of Education authorised the building for sale in March 2009. 3 An auction was held on June 8, but a developer’s bid for the building was rejected. In July, the Irish Heritage Center submitted a sealed proposal that was accepted. It was discovered that the city had owned the land, not the Board of Education. After months of discussion, the city transferred the property to the Board at no cost and without any conditions. The real estate transaction, for $180,000, to the Irish Heritage Center was completed on November 24. 4
The mission of the Irish Heritage Foundation is to “founded to promote the Irish Culture through the study of customs, dance, education, film, genealogy, history, language, lectures, literature, music, mythology, poetry, social interaction, song, sport, theatre and the visual arts.”