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St. Joseph Children’s Home to open doors to public after 'challenging' renovations

The children’s home will be showing off its newly renovated landmark building to the public.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — St. Joseph Children’s Home is giving the Louisville community a chance to see inside their historic home.

The building was constructed in 1885 to serve as a place for children who did not have a family. 

Since it opened, the mission of the home has expanded to include helping children who have experienced trauma, helping in the adoption process, and now offering a child development center.

St. Joseph Children’s Home CEO Grace Akers says the expanding programs have led to a need for more renovations in the last 138 years.

Now the most recent renovation will be on display to the public.

“This building was on a plan and even 50 years ago people knew that while we had the magic of a building built in 1885, we had the struggles of a building built in 1885,” Akers said.

In 2017, St. Joseph put about a request for proposals to find a company that could deliver the vision they had for the landmark building, and finally settled on Stengel Hill Architecture.

For principal architect Chris Gilbert, this opportunity was a dream undertaking.

“Every generation of Louisville since the late 1800’s has had their fingerprints on this building, so an opportunity like this doesn’t roll around this often,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert described the process of updating the building as a “thrill” and a “challenge” all at the same time.

“For me it was how do I celebrate and give them a chance to be in a space that is equal to the great work that they are doing here," Gilbert said.

He said that they wanted to preserve, and in some cases highlight, the original architecture all while giving the skeleton of the building a total redesign.

Crews installed a new central heating and cooling system, energy efficient windows, improved wireless internet, upgraded some security features, as well as several other upgrades and additions that Akers says will allow them to better serve the community.

“In our history we have cared for more than 75,000 children and we’re still doing that today and we do that in different ways,” Akers said.

The open house will be from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16.

All members of the community are welcome to come out.

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