Complete Guide to Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in New York, including guided tours, history, park hours, directions, and so much more.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is a museum and historic site located in Buffalo, New York.
It is dedicated to the life and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.
Is Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS worth visiting?
Yes, especially if you are already going to be in the Buffalo, New York Area. I don't know that this is a park I would fly into Buffalo to see unless you are a huge Theodore Roosevelt fan or trying to visit all of the US National Park Sites.
History of Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS
The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site preserves the Wilcox House, where on September 14th, 1901, the 26th president of the United States was inaugurated. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, unexpectedly became president after the death of William McKinley.
The History of Wilcox House
The Wilcox House, which would become the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, has a long and interesting history. The residence was owned by Roosevelt's friend, Ansley Wilcox, at the time of the hurried inauguration. Previously, Wilcox House had been the site of a United States Army barracks during the Patriot War.
The oldest part of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, called the Buffalo Barracks, was built in 1839 to house the U.S Army Officers Headquarters. The Buffalo Barracks were built in response to a civil uprising in Canada known as the Patriot War.
In November 1837, an armed rebellion broke out in upper and lower Canada in opposition to British governance of the Canadian territories. These uprisings became known as the Patriot War. The fight was brought to Buffalo when the leader of the rebellion from the upper Canadian territory, William Lyon Mackenzie, escaped across the border.
Mackenzie's presence in Buffalo and the support she garnered from the town's American residents almost led to a war on the Niagara Frontier. Mackenzie occupied Navy Island, declaring it independent Canadian land.
The Americans supplied Mackenzie until the British stole the boat they used, the Caroline. The British set the Caroline alight, and watched as sailed over Niagara Falls. In response to the incident, the American government sent in the militia and U.S Regulars. The regulars ensured the occupants of Navy island were cut off from their supplies and war was avoided.
Tensions remained on the border, which led to the U.S Army establishing permanent barracks in Buffalo to accommodate the increased army presence. The barracks contained a parade ground, junior and senior officers' quarters, a guardhouse, a storehouse, and stables.
The Buffalo Barracks would form part of the Wilcox House, which in 1840 was added to the officer's quarters.
Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed Teedie, was born on October 27th, 1858 in New York City. The future president was homeschooled in his early life because he suffered terribly from asthma. Later in life Teedie changed to Teddy, although Theodore Roosevelt did not care for the nickname.
Theodore Roosevelt entered the world of politics in 1881 when he was elected into the assembly of New York State. It was during his early years in politics that Roosevelt met Ansley Wilcox. The pair were charged with the restoration of the Niagara Falls region.
Roosevelt took several breaks from politics throughout his career, heading to the American west to live amongst the ranchers in the Dakotas. Roosevelt always returned to politics and maintained his resolve to introduce reforms that would eliminate corruption in the government and civil services.
Roosevelt served as the Police Commissioner for New York City in 1895, where he worked tirelessly to reform the force by removing corrupt officers. In 1896, Roosevelt campaigned for the Republican Party's presidential candidate, William McKinley.
After serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, preparing America for war with Spain, Roosevelt left his position to fight the Spanish. Upon his return, he was greeted as a war hero and elected governor of New York. In 1900 Roosevelt was nominated for the position of Vice President at the Republican Convention.
Theodore Roosevelt, Vice President
Roosevelt served as vice president for six months under President William McKinley. McKinley was shot by an anarchist on September 5th, 1901, while visiting the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo.
Roosevelt rushed to Buffalo from Vermont, arriving on September 7th. Roosevelt had been assured that McKinley was in good health, all things considered, and would recover from his wounds. He left on a planned family holiday to Mount Marcy.
While hiking with his family, Roosevelt received word that McKinley was on his deathbed. The Vice President did not immediately rush to Buffalo but began making his way via stagecoach. Shortly after he received the first telegram, a second arrived announcing McKinley's death in the early morning hours on September 14th, 1901.
Roosevelt made his way to Buffalo, where he was invited by his friend, Ansley Wilcox, to stay in his home. The decision was made to inaugurate Roosevelt that same afternoon at Wilcox House.
The Inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt
At 3 p.m. on the afternoon of September 14th, the Wilcox House library became the scene of the inauguration of the 26th President of the United States of America. The oath was administered by Judge Hazel in the presence of 50 dignitaries, several cabinet members, and reporters. Reporters were not permitted to take photographs of the inauguration.
Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest man, at 42 years old, to serve as President of the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt made his first proclamation at Wilcox House.
Roosevelt served as President of the United States for two terms, the last of which ended in 1909.
Roosevelt ushered in a period of reform as a leader of the Progressive movement, striving to make American society more fair and equal. Considered the first modern President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt revolutionized big business and America’s foreign policy.
Things to know before your visit
$0.00 - WITH a National Park Pass
Covers museum admission and tour. All visits to the historic home are by guided tour.
Adult - $12.00
Senior - 62 and over - $9.00
College Student - with ID - $9.00
Child - 6-18 - $7.00
Family - 2 adults and children 18 or under - $30.00
Covers museum admission and tour. All visits to the historic home are by guided tour.
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Learn more about National Park Passes for parks that have an entrance fee.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
Eastern Time Zone
Pets are generally not allowed inside the buildings of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS. Dogs must be on leashes and must be cleaned up after on walking tours of the historic neighborhoods.
We had great cell service during our visit.
Open year-round. Museum visit is by reservation only. Reservations may be made through the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation. We had a hard time booking reservations on mobile/WIFI and ended up calling the park and getting our names added to a tour.
Tours are scheduled every hour at the bottom of the hour, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Wed.-Fri. and 11:30 a.m. on weekends. Last tour is at 3:30 p.m.
Insect repellent is always a great idea when outdoors, especially if you are around any body of water.
We use Permethrin Spray on our clothes before our park trips.
Make sure to bring your own water bottle and plenty of water with you. Plastic water bottles are not sold in the park.
There is a small parking area near the visitor center. There is also street parking.
If you are driving an RV, I would call the park and ask for the best parking options. There is no available parking onsite for large campers or RVs.
There are no restaurants within the park. We enjoyed the Anchor Bar the restaurant that created Buffalo Wings or as they are called in Buffalo, New York...wings.
There are no gas stations within the park. There are multiple gas stations nearby.
Drones are not permitted within National Park Sites.
National Park Passport Stamps
National Park Passport stamps can be found in the visitor center. We had to ask for it at the visitor center counter it was behind the desk.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS is part of the 2001 Passport Stamp Set.
Electric Vehicle Charging
The nearest EV charging station is located in John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, half a mile from the park.
Details about Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS
Size - 1 acres
Check out how the park compares to other National Parks by Size....hint, it is not the smallest!
November 2, 1966
In 2021, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS had 13,323 park visitors.
In 2020, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS had 5,098 park visitors.
In 2019, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS had 26,994 park visitors.
National Park Address
641 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
National Park Map
Where is Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site?
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS is located in Buffalo, New York.
A lot of maps and brochures have the site listed as the Wilcox Mansion - Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Estimated distance from major cities nearby
Toronto, Canada - 59 miles
Rochester, NY - 70 miles
Cleveland, OH - 190 miles
Pittsburgh, PA - 210 miles
Detroit, MI - 250 miles
Baltimore, MD - 340 miles
New York City, NY - 373 miles
Washington DC - 379 miles
Philadelphia, PA - 380 miles
Indianapolis, IN - 480 miles
Estimated Distance from nearby National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park - 200 miles
Acadia National Park - 660 miles
New River Gorge National Park - 430 miles
Shenandoah National Park - 345 miles
Indiana Dunes National Park -475 miles
Where is the National Park Visitor Center?
The visitor center is located at the entrance to the park.
Getting to Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site NHS
Buffalo Niagara International Airport - 8 miles
Greater Rochester International Airport - 10 miles
Niagara Falls International Airport - 16 miles
Toronto Pearson International Airport - 100 miles
Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport - 15 miles
Grimsby Regional Airport - 50 miles
Bradford Regional Airport - 90 miles
Penn Yan Regional Airport - 110 miles
Grand Canyon Regional Airport - 140 miles
From the East
Take the I–90 west to Exit 51 (Rt. 33 W). Take Exit 51 to Rt. 33 W (Kensington Expressway) and to downtown. Continue on Rt. 33 and go west for 6 ½ miles to Goodell Street Exit. Take Goodell Street Exit and get into the center lane of Goodell. Follow signs directing “To Delaware Avenue”. At Main Street, follow signs directing “To Delaware Avenue”, veer left around St. Louis Church, and continue west on Edward Street. For parking lot (free), turn right at first street, Franklin, or second street, Delaware, and travel 2 ⅔ blocks north. For on-street (meter) parking, turn right at second street, Delaware, and travel 2 ⅔ blocks north. The Site will be on your right and marked by a brown and white National Park Service sign.
From the North or Niagara Falls
Take the I–190 South. If coming from Niagara Falls, this requires traveling over both Grand Island bridges. There is a $1.00 toll at the north bridge. Continue on I-190 South, approximately 6.5 miles beyond the south bridge. Take Exit 9, Peace Bridge/Porter Avenue, and follow the signs to Porter Ave. Turn left onto Porter Ave. and go northeast to Symphony Circle (Traffic on the circle has right of way). Pass through Symphony Circle and Porter becomes North Street. Go east for ½ mile to Delaware Avenue. Turn right onto Delaware Avenue. The Site is now on your left. Meter parking is available in Delaware. For free off-street parking, turn into the TR Site driveway next to the TR Site lawn, marked by the TR Inaugural Site sign.
From the South or West
Take the I–90 to Exit 53 (I-190 N). Take Exit 53 to I-190 N and to downtown. Continue on the I–190 N and go west for 5 ½ miles to Exit 8 (Niagara St.). Take Exit 8 (Niagara St.) and turn left on Niagara St.Go northwest for 0.7 miles to Porter Avenue. Turn right onto Porter Avenue and go northeast for ½ mile to Symphony Circle (Traffic on the circle has right of way). Pass through Symphony Circle and Porter becomes North Street. Go east for ½ mile to Delaware Avenue. Turn right onto Delaware Avenue. The Site is now on your left. Meter parking is available in Delaware. For free off-street parking, turn into the TR Site driveway next to the TR Site lawn, marked by the TR Inaugural Site sign.
Take the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ontario, to Buffalo, NY. After crossing the Peace Bridge, follow signs to Porter Ave. Follow Baird Drive past Front Park to Porter Ave. Turn left onto Porter Ave. and go northeast to Symphony Circle (Traffic on the circle has right of way). Pass through Symphony Circle and Porter becomes North Street. Go east for ½ mile to Delaware Avenue. Turn right onto Delaware Avenue. The Site is now on your left. Meter parking is available in Delaware.
Best time to visit
The spring and fall seasons are the best time to visit the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.
During these times, the weather is perfect for outdoor activities and the foliage is stunning, making it the perfect time to learn about the life and legacy of one of America's most beloved presidents.
Weather and Seasons
The warm season starts from May 29 to September 20, with an average daily high temperature above 70 degrees.
The cold season starts from December 5 to March 13, with an average daily high temperature below 40 degrees.
The snowiest season starts from November 12 to April 14, with a snowfall of at least an inch a month. The most snow occurs in February, with an average of 5.1 inches.
If you are heading to the park in the winter you may want to indulge in a Niagara Falls Canada Winter getaway.
Best Things to do in Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS
The park offers guided tours of the Ansley Wilcox home, the historic Buffalo, NY house in which Roosevelt was inaugurated as our 26th president in 1901.
The visitor center is small and has a park bookstore. In order to see the majority of the park you will need to be on a guided tour.
The Junior Ranger program can be picked up at the visitor center desk. It is a great way for visitors of all ages to learn more about the park.
The guided tours are led by a museum volunteer who takes you through Theodore Roosevelt's Inauguration.
Tours include four restored areas of the Ansley Wilcox home and a permanent exhibit.
The tour is over multiple floors of the museum but there is an elevator. Part of the tour includes a short film.
The park suggests calling ahead to make tour reservations. There are a limited number of tickets for each tour.
The tour lasts approximately 1 hour.
Always carry the 10 essentials for outdoor survival when exploring.
There are no hiking trails within the park but you can wander the historic district of Buffalo.
How to beat the crowds?
There is a limited number of spaces on each tour which helps keep crowds to a minimum.
Where to stay when visiting Buffalo, New York
There are no National Park Lodges within the park.
Nearby Lodging includes:
The Westin Buffalo - Enjoy a coffee shop/café, and dry cleaning/laundry services at The Westin Buffalo. The onsite restaurant, Patina 250, features American cuisine. In addition to an outdoor entertainment area and a bar, guests can connect to free Wi-Fi in public areas.
The Mansion On Delaware Ave - 4-star hotel located in Downtown Buffalo. Take advantage of free cooked-to-order breakfast, a terrace, and an art gallery on site at The Mansion On Delaware Ave. Treat yourself to a facial, a body treatment, or aromatherapy at Spa 388, the onsite spa. Free in-room Wi-Fi, with speed of 250+ Mbps (good for 3–5 people or up to 10 devices), is available to all guests, along with a garden and dry cleaning/laundry services.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Buffalo Downtown - A free breakfast buffet, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a bar are just a few of the amenities provided at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Buffalo Downtown - Medical CTR, an IHG Hotel. The onsite American cuisine restaurant, TGI Fridays, features happy hour. Free in-room Wi-Fi is available to all guests, along with a gym and a business center.
Hampton Inn & Suites Buffalo Downtown - look forward to a free breakfast buffet, a grocery/convenience store, and dry cleaning/laundry services. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. Be sure to enjoy a meal at any of the 3 onsite restaurants, which feature Mexican cuisine and more. Free in-room Wi-Fi is available to all guests, along with a fireplace in the lobby and a 24-hour gym.
Best Western on the Avenue - Free to-go breakfast, a fireplace in the lobby, and a 24-hour gym are just a few of the amenities provided at Best Western on the Avenue. In addition to a 24-hour business center, guests can connect to free in-room Wi-Fi.
Click on the map below to see additional vacation rental and lodging options in Buffalo.
There are no National Park Campgrounds.
For a fun adventure check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
Escape Campervans has offices in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Orlando
National Parks related to Theodore Roosevelt
Sagamore Hill (TR's home on Long Island, NY)
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace (New York City)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)
Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
Theodore Roosevelt Island (Near Washington, DC)
Parks Near Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Niagara Falls State Park
Women's Rights National Historical Park - New York - 125 miles
Fort Stanwix National Monument - New York - 175 miles
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site - Pennsylvania
Johnstown Flood National Memorial - Pennsylvania
James A Garfield National Historic Site - Ohio - 175 miles
First Ladies National Historic Site - Ohio - 245 miles
Check out all of the National Parks in New York along with neighboring National Parks in Connecticutt, National Parks in Massachusetts, National Parks in New Jersey, National Parks in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island National Parks, and Vermont National Parks
Check out all of the National Historic Sites managed by the NPS