Louisville’s Filson Historical Society has cut the ribbon on its $12 million campus expansion.

The project includes the renovation of the Ferguson Mansion and construction of a new 20,000 square foot history center.

Filson President and CEO Craig Buthod said the expansion gives the 132-year-old organization room to showcase more of its vast collection of manuscripts, books, photos and other items.

“This allows us to exhibit so much more and also to have our collections grow,” Buthod said. “Our collections are growing, we ran out of room. Now we are doubling our space.”

Filson Owsley Brown IIRick Howlett |

Owsley Brown II History Center, Fourth Street

The new building, named for the late philanthropist Owsley Brown II, is connected to the Filson’s longtime headquarters, the Ferguson Mansion, built in 1905.

Buthod said the structure underwent an extensive renovation.

“You will see how history leads to the future,” he said. “You’ll see it physically in the architecture and in the galleries, you’ll see it represented by materials in our collections.”

filson-mansionJonese Franklin

Ferguson Mansion, Third Street

The new history center also contains a lecture hall and research areas.

The Filson Historical Society will hold an open house at its expanded campus on Saturday.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.