Save America’s Treasures awards $500,000 to the Taft Museum of Art

The National Parks Service has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Taft Museum of Art to support the historic museum’s upcoming infrastructure renovations.

The grant was awarded through the park service’s Save America’s Treasures program.

The Taft is housed in a 200-year-old former home that was once the residence of several prominent Cincinnatians, including Charles Taft, the half-brother of former president William Howard Taft, and Nicholas Longworth. Taft and his wife, Anna Sinton Taft, bequeathed the home to the city of Cincinnati, and it opened as a museum in 1932.

In recognition of the home’s bicentennial year this year, the Taft is embarking on a renovation that will improve the exterior structure as well as the interior climate, both considered necessary to properly maintain the treasures stored and displayed inside.

“This grant ensures that the Taft Museum of Art will remain accessible to all for generations to come,” says Sen. Sherrod Brown, who announced the grant. “This investment will help protect this historic building and important cultural treasure in Cincinnati.”


The Save America’s Treasures program was established in 1998 and first awarded grants in 1999 to preserve nationally significant historic properties and collections. Since 1999, more than $315 million has been awarded to more than 1,300 projects.


The program is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund, using revenue from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenue.


The grant comes on top of another federal grant that was awarded earlier this year for the Taft renovations. In January, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced it was awarding $750,000 for the work.


In 1976, the house was designated as a National Historic Landmark. A major expansion in the early 2000s added a new building featuring an exhibition gallery, preparation and storage areas, offices, a classroom, a lecture hall, café, and shop.


The Taft is currently open on Fridays from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Timed tickets can be purchased in advance here.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.