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Early in the 19th century, Julius Friedlander, a young teacher of children who were blind or had serious visual impairments, came to Philadelphia from Germany determined to establish a school. He found several prominent Philadelphians ready to help him in this venture.In March 1832, Mr. Friedlander opened his school in a rented building and called it The Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind. Mr. Friedlander died only six years later, but, before that time, his school was already well established in a new building at 20th and Race Streets. It continued to grow, offering quality education to the children of the area who were blind or visually impaired.In 1899, the school was again moved, this time to its present location at 6333 Malvern Avenue. It was re-named Overbrook School for the Blind in 1946.Today the school includes a main building with classrooms, offices, an auditorium, a library and a touch and learn center. Two separate buildings house programs for pre-school children and elementary age students. The Nevil Field House contains a gymnasium, indoor track, physical fitness room, and bowling alleys.The school's cafeteria is located in a modern facility immediately adjacent to the main building. Two recently renovated dormitories are home from home for the residential students.  All of the facilities are renovated and updated on a continuous basis.Spacious, well cared for grounds totaling 20 acres surround all the buildings and provide ample areas for play and recreation during students' free time periods. Accessibility is important and the campus is updated on a regular basis.

The first Dictionary of the English Language for the Blind: A book caught in the controversy of how embossed letters should be shaped to be read by the blind. The book was co-edited by Robley Dunglison MD and William Chapin, Principal of Pennsylvania Institute for the Instruction of the Blind

 In 1999 our Main Building celebrated its 100th Anniversary

In honor of our founder, Julius R. Friedlander

The Architecture at Overbrook