McKinley School

The McKinley School is a restored circa 1876 and 1919 school along Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The McKinley School was constructed on Tennyson Street in the Italianate and Jacobethan style in 1876. 1 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.

A two-story addition was constructed on Eastern Avenue in 1919, 1 the design of which contrasted sharply with the original building and featured 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 complex featured 21 classrooms, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium. 1 Improvements included new boilers in 1972 and 1981.

McKinley School closed in December 2005, 1 and the building was authorized for sale in March 2009. 3 After a developer’s bid for the building was rejected at an auction on June 8, but a developer’s bid for the building was rejected. The Irish Heritage Center submitted a sealed proposal in July that was accepted and the $180,000 transaction was completed on November 24. 4

The school was renovated to house the Irish Heritage Center, operated by the Irish Heritage Foundation, 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.”



  1. McKinley Elementary. Lakeland, Fl.: Higgenbotham Auctioneers, 2009. Print.
  2. Gordon, Steve. McKinley School. Columbus: Ohio Historic Preservation Office, 1978. Print.
  3. “The Facility.” Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. N.p., 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. Article.
  4. Kemme, Steve. “A local home for Irish history.” Cincinnati Enquirer 8 Feb. 2010: n. pag. Print.


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glad to see it wasnt torn down went to school there 1942 to momsaved all my report cards and class picture i believe was 1951 8th grade would to donate them if they could use them

Hi James,

I work with the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati, which is located in the old McKinley School. We are curating an exhibit detailing the history of the school for our museum, and we would love to take any and all documents and photographs that you may have relating to the history of the school. Please let me know if you are still interested in donating and we can arrange a pick up.



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