Jacob's Hall: Kentucky School for the Deaf
The Kentucky School for the Deaf was the first public school for deaf children in the United States. Today, the school continues to provide programs for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade who are deaf or hard of hearing. Built in 1857, Jacob's Hall is the oldest building on campus and is a National Historic Landmark. It is used for a variety of events and activities and also houses a museum.
Backstory and Context
The Kentucky School for the Deaf was established in 1822, but construction on Jacob's hall was not started until 1855 to support the growing student body. The four-story building was completed in 1857. Although the building has undergone substantial interior renovations, the exterior retains the building's original character.
Thomas Lewinski and John McMurtry are responsible for the architectural design of Jacob's Hall. Presidents John Quincy Adams and Martin Van Buren were two major contributors to funding the project. Until 1966, the building functioned as the dormitory for the older girls at the Kentucky School for the Deaf. The building maintains the title of the "Fourth Best Building in Kentucky" as proclaimed by the American Institute of Architects and is a National Historic Landmark.
Today, the Kentucky School for the Deaf still strives to ensure Kentucky's deaf and hard of hearing youth are well educated, lifelong learners, and productive members of society. Jacob's Hall now serves many purposes to the Kentucky School for the Deaf from facilitating events to the school's museum. The museum provides insight into the deaf community. It includes newspapers and reports related to the school, as well as setups of dorms, classrooms, and vocational learning that were original to the school.
"Jacobs Hall, Kentucky School for the Deaf - Danville KY." Waymarking.com. 2015. Accessed February 15, 2015. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMEP1F_Jacobs_Hall_Kentucky_School_for_the_Deaf_Danville_KY.
Rettig, Polly M. "Jacob's Hall." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 15, 1966. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/2637650a-cac1-4de4-b72a-67ea854ac6c3.