The Auction of the McKinley School

Several years ago, nine schools in Cincinnati, Ohio were auctioned to the highest and most qualified bidder. The McKinley School was one of those.

Several years ago, nine educational institutions in Cincinnati, Ohio, were auctioned to the highest and most qualified bidders. The McKinley School, situated along Eastern Avenue in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood, was among the selected properties. Higgenbotham Auctioneers of Florida managed the auctions.

The McKinley School was constructed in 1876 as a three-and-a-half-story structure facing Tennyson Street, exhibiting the Italianate/Jacobethan architectural style. Its design featured red brick, vertical accentuation, pilasters, tall 12/12 windows, and a gable roof. In 1919, a two-story addition was erected fronting Eastern Avenue, contrasting with the original building. The new wing boasted brown brick, terra cotta trim, and various motifs and decorative elements. The kindergarten doorway featured an art glass transom, and small Florentine glass windows flanked the entryway. The combined buildings encompassed a total square footage of 44,326, including 21 classrooms, a cafeteria, three offices, a childcare room, and a gymnasium.

In December 2005, the McKinley School ceased operations.

In March 2009, the Cincinnati Board of Education designated McKinley among nine other schools authorized for sale. An auction was held on June 8, and a developer selected the school for redevelopment, although their bid was ultimately rejected by the school district. In July, the Irish Heritage Center, founded by Maureen Kennedy and her husband, Kent Covey of Hyde Park, submitted an accepted sealed bid. The bid amounted to $180,000, and approximately $20,000 in improvements were subsequently invested in the physical structure.

The mission of the Irish Heritage Foundation was “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, theater, and the visual arts.” Weekly events are held to further this objective.

Through this transformation, the McKinley School has been granted a new lease on life, serving as a vibrant hub for preserving and celebrating Irish cultural heritage within the Cincinnati community.


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So glad you have photos to share of this old school. I went to a school built around 1890 in Butler county. It was torn down in the late 1980's, The only remaining structure is the !st and 2nd grade wing which is one story and an addition from the 1950's. I wish I had pictures to reflect back on. Thanks.

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