Syracuse City Hall Common Council Chambers

This public space hosts a series of rotating panel exhibits, developed by OHA to accompany a variety of plays produced at Syracuse Stage. The exhibits offer fascinating and often unexplored local historical parallels and themes related to great American literature and theater.

(Available during regular City Hall hours when the Chamber is not in use)

On Display Now at Syracuse City Hall

The story of The Miracle Worker explores the true emotional struggles of Anne Sullivan to break through the walls of Helen Keller’s vision and hearing impairments; thus allowing the child’s true talents and personality to blossom.

Set in the 19th Century, it is also about the efforts of Sullivan and others of her generation to break down the stereotypes of that era. These often held that children who were blind or deaf could only be educated to a limited degree.

Upstate New York was a leader in developing new institutions and new approaches for the education of those children during the 19th century. The state established a school for the blind that opened in Batavia, NY in 1868. In 1875, a school for the deaf was started in Rome, New York. And in 1930, the City of Syracuse opened Percy Hughes School, an innovative facility for those termed “handicapped” children in that era. Although these three examples were not the first in the nation, they played important roles in the early education of children with these physical impairments.

Sponsored by Hancock Estabrook, LLP.

Little Women: This exhibit, located at Syracuse City Hall, features the local connections of the Alcott Family to Syracuse and how families communicated with loved ones in the field during the Civil War.

Louisa May Alcott’s parents and three sisters were the inspiration for her novel, Little Women.  And although they lived much of their lives in and around Concord, Massachusetts, the family had strong ties to Syracuse.

Louisa’s mother, Abigail, was the sister of noted Syracuse minister, Reverend Samuel J. May. Samuel and his family lived on James Street.  His modest home (photographed above) often hosted members of the Alcott family during the 1850s and 1860s. The two families regularly exchanged correspondence.

In 1875, Louisa attended the Woman’s Congress in Syracuse and played a role in the Women’s Suffrage movement in Concord, Massachusetts.

Sponsored by National Grid.