Johnstown Children’s Museum transformation underway

Johnstown Children’s Museum transformation underway

Great things are happening on the third floor of the Heritage Discovery Center in the Johnstown Children’s Museum! Many of our visitors may have noticed changes as we work to provide even more fun and engaging museum and play experiences — but rest assured that we are OPEN regular business hours, as all work is occurring on days the museum is closed. JAHA gratefully acknowledges the assistance of members of Keystone Mountain Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 423 (who are seen working above), and Ridgetop Interiors.

The Cambria Iron President’s office, or the “boss’ office,” has been moved out next to the steel mill area so that the two are more closely related. Previously, the boss’ office was in an entirely different room than the steel mill. Now, with the spaces next to each other, there is a clear connection between learning about steelworkers’ work and the “bosses” that oversee it.

Next to the play kitchen area, we are planning a living room space to further explore the home life of families in ca. 1940s Johnstown. This space will feature a chair and sofa, reproductions of period magazines and comic books, reproduction photo albums with 1940s era photos, a radio that will play music and radio shows from the period, and a small desk where visitors can “write a letter” to relatives back in the “old country.” These interactive museum experiences will allow visitors to imagine what home was like for working-class families in Johnstown while continuing to explore central museum themes like immigration.

Finally, in the space previously occupied by the boss’ office, we are planning our biggest change: the JAHA Career Corner. This space will explore the many different jobs in the Johnstown community, past and present, from firefighters and train conductors to doctors, artists, and more. In the space will be a number of cubbies that will hold dress-up clothes and materials for each job, along with different hands-on activity stations.

We’ll also continue the project to refurbish the rooftop garden when the weather breaks. In addition to these large-scale changes, we will also be making upgrades to the reading corner (including acquiring more books and creating more seating) and making other repairs and upgrades.

Stay tuned for updates on these exciting projects!

And as always, if you’d like to support JAHA and all the things we do, contribute to our Annual Fund — just click on the “donate” link on the top of this page. THANK YOU!