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Hay-McKinney and Bingham-Hanna Houses

The Bingham-Hanna House is open for self-guided touring during all History Center hours.  

The Hay-McKinney House is open for daily guided tours which are included with History Center admission.
Space is limited to 12 guests per tour.  No reservation is necessary; although, registration is required the day of your visit.  Tours do fill quickly.  We recommend that large groups call in advance to reserve your time. 
Private group tours with a museum educator are available for a fee.  To arrange a group tour, please call 216-721-5722 x1405.
Daily Hay House Tour Schedule:
Tuesday - Friday: 1:00 and 3:00
Saturday: 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00
Sunday: 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00

A History of the Houses

The two Italian Renaissance-style buildings that form a part of the WRHS History Center were both built in the early 20th century as homes for wealthy and influential Clevelanders.

In 1908 Clara Stone Hay, daughter of Amasa Stone and widow of John Hay, engaged Abram Garfield, youngest son of President Garfield, to design a home for her in the Wade Park Allotment. While the house, with terraced courtyard garden and modern conveniences, was completed in 1911, Mrs. Hay never furnished or occupied the house, preferring to return to New York City on the death of her sister, Flora Stone Mather.

After Mrs. Hay’s death, the property was acquired in 1916 by Price McKinney, of the McKinney Steel Company.  He and his family lived there during the 1920s. In 1938 McKinney ’s widow, by now Mrs. Corliss Sullivan, sold the house to WRHS, and in 1939 it was opened as the Society’s Museum. Today the Hay-McKinney House is furnished as a series of period galleries exhibiting furniture, decorative and fine arts and domestic artifacts from the Society’s collections.

Between 1916 and 1919 on the land neighboring the Hay-McKinney property, Harry Payne Bingham built a 35 room house designed by Walker and Gillette, with a landscape by Olmsted Brothers and featuring ironwork by Samuel Yellin and tile pavements by Henry Mercer’s Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Never occupied by the Binghams, who settled in New York , the house was purchased in 1920 by Coralie Walker Hanna, widow of Leonard C. Hanna, who lived there until her death in 1936. In 1940, her son, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., gave the house to WRHS in return for the Society’s building located at Euclid Ave. and E. 107th St.

The WRHS Library moved into the Bingham-Hanna house in 1941. The house has lost the imposing porte-cochere at the front entrance (demolished for the construction of the Crawford exhibit galleries in 1965) and the greenhouse (demolished for the construction of the Norton Central Addition in 1959).  Still it retains much that is original, including many of the furnishings in the first-floor rooms open to the public.

Bingham-Hanna house from East Boulevard, 1920s

Bingham-Hanna house Hall, circa 1923

Bingham-Hanna house Studio,
with carved door to greenhouse, circa 1923

Present view of Bingham-Hanna Living Room
featuring original furnishings including sofas and lamps