Shortly after his marriage to Clevelander Harriette Gowen, financier Harry Bingham engaged architects Walker and Gillette in 1916 to build a 35-room Renaissance Revival mansion near Euclid Avenue, known as “Millionaire’s Row.” Percival Gallagher of Olmsted Brothers worked closely with Walker and Gillette to design a landscape that complemented the Italian Renaissance Revival mansion’s formalism. Their plan included flowering trees and beds of perennials flanking the driveway, and coniferous trees, including imported mature specimen trees, screening adjacent alleys and structures from view.
Completed in 1919 the residence was never occupied by the Binghams, who settled in New York. The estate was purchased by Coralie Hanna in 1920, and the same year, Cleveland landscape architect Donald Gray, formerly an employee of the Olmsted firm, was engaged to complete the landscape design. Gray retained some elements of the Olmsted plan, including a formal, sunken garden tucked behind the residence.
Following Hanna’s death in 1936, the property was donated by her son to the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) in 1940. The Bingham-Hanna home was adjoined to the neighboring Hay-McKinney estate, also owned by the WRHS, in 1959. Through the end of the twentieth century, nine acres surrounding the two properties were redeveloped to form the Cleveland History Center. The formal garden is the only extant element of the Olmsted Brothers landscape and is maintained by the WRHS. From a terrace at the rear of the house flanked by trees, steps descend to a gravel walk that frames a turf lawn edged by clipped box hedges and beds planted with herbaceous plants and shrubs including lilac and azalea. East and west of the lawn, secondary steps and paths are bordered by raised stone beds planted with flowers and evergreen shrubs. A shallow pool and fountain provide a focal point at the garden’s north end. In 2022, AECOM completed a plan for the garden’s rehabilitation. The Hay-McKinney and Bingham-Hanna Houses were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and are contributing features of the Wade Park Historic District, listed in 1982.