Project Name: Helen Keller Museum / American Printing House for the Blind
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Size: 72,100 Square Feet
American Printing House (APH) is embarking on a major capital project to update a significant portion of their existing building and office space, and also reimagine their museum with updated, fresh, and creative programming. PLC was engaged to manage the overall project including designing, strategizing, and creating a new 13,000 SF museum and transforming it into a learning center.
The facility will serve as a portal into APH for all visitors and a launching point for factory tours and museum visits. New exhibits will document the history of education of people who are blind or visually impaired, with an emphasis on the stories of author and activist Helen Keller and the American Printing House for the Blind itself. The new facility will also house classrooms, temporary exhibition spaces, the building lobby, and the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.
APH’s prevailing vision is to create the most inclusive learning center in the world, setting the standard for others to follow. Just like everything APH does, the redesigned facility should echo the organization’s foundational message: welcome everyone. The reimagined facility will be experiential and will stand as testament to everything that can be achieved, no matter what a person’s abilities are. Achievement and accessibility are the cornerstones of what APH wants this facility to represent. The APH collections have established the museum as a major center for scholarship in the blindness field. The impetus for this project resulted from the 2020 transfer of the AFB Helen Keller Archive to APH. The Helen Keller Archive contains thousands of artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and audio-visual materials documenting the life of Keller, her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy, and their impact on the world. By featuring Keller’s story, and positioning the museum as the entry portal to the company, the new facility will dramatically increase the museum’s reach and impact.