Facilities of the National First Ladies' Library
The National First Ladies’ Library was given the City National Bank Building located on Market Avenue just a block north of the Ida Saxton McKinley house by the Marsh Belden, Sr. family in 1997. The goal to renovate the building and adapt it to the library’s growing need for space began almost immediately.
This building is the National First Ladies’ Library Education and Research Center. There is a 91-seat Victorian Theatre on the lower level, where films and documentaries on the first ladies are shown and author lectures and live presentations are held. The first floor has a large meeting/reception/exhibit room featuring restorations of the original skylight and a portion of the original glass block floor. Also on the first floor is a small library room, with a spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine where rare books are kept. This library also houses a collection of books that replicates the first White House Library created by First Lady Abigail Fillmore.
The Saxton-McKinley house is a two and three story brick building of irregular massing. It was constructed in two segments, in 1841, and ca. 1865. The earliest portion is at the rear of the structure and was a two-story gable roofed building. This is significant as the only residence with direct historical ties to President William McKinley remaining in his hometown of Canton. It was the family home of McKinley's wife, Ida, and he and his wife lived in the house between 1878-1891 during the period he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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