Helen Keller Mural Will Go Up In Forest Hills In May

Helen Keller Mural Will Go Up In Forest Hills In May

Helen Keller, the blind and deaf author and lecturer. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS — A mural honoring Helen Keller will go up this spring in Forest Hills, where the blind and deaf author and activist lived for two decades.

The mural, designed by street artists Crisp and Praxis, will go up in May in the Ascan Ave. underpass below the Long Island Rail Road. The design features Helen Keller’s face and her pets, her long-demolished Forest Hills home and her well-known quote, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

From 1917 to 1938, Keller lived at Seminole Ave. and Fife St. — what is now the corner of 112th St. and 71st Rd — with her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy, according to historian Michael Perlman, who is coordinating the mural project. Keller and Macy attended services at the First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills.

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“Many Forest Hills residents and New Yorkers are unaware that she onced lived in a charming home not far away” Perlman, a Forest Hills resident, said.

The mural, Perlman added, “will transform a banal wall into an educational and motivational beacon, and bear homage to our history in a creative way,” he said.

City Council Member Karen Koslowitz, who represents Forest Hills, gave $6,500 in funding for the project.

“Helen Keller’s determination and courage will forever be an inspiration to us all,” Koslowitz said.

Keller became deaf and blind when she was 19 months old as a result of an unknown illness, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. With Macy’s help, she learned to spell, read and write. She graduated from Radcliffe College and became a writer, publishing an autobiography in 1903. She was also a political and social activist, most notably for the American Foundation for the Blind.

Crisp and Praxis have designed two other murals in Forest Hills, including a mural called “A Tribute To Ascan Avenue & The Forest Hills Gardens” in the same Ascan Ave. underpass, across from the site of the upcoming Helen Keller mural.

Courtesy of Patch.com

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