Big Well

The Big Well Museum

Greensburg, Kansas

The “World’s Largest Hand Dug Well” was Greensburg Kansas’s claim to fame before an EF5 tornado leveled the town in 2007.  There were only two structures left standing.  Roughly 750 residents decided to stay and rebuild.  They not only rebuilt the town, but pushed it to a much higher standard.  Greensburg set a course to be the “greenest” town in the US.  

A few years into the rebuilding process, Greensburg hired us to help tell their story.  We sorted through hundreds of photos and objects; and collected written accounts, audio recordings and videos. We worked closely with a committee of residents, civic leaders, and museum staff to develop the design.  The wall panels, displays, and gallery furniture were fabricated in our shop in Kansas City, KS.  We then packed it up and spent a few weeks in Greensburg installing.  

The new museum is built around and covers the big well.  Their story unfolds across maple panels that cover the spiral shaped walls of the main gallery.

We created an iPad app for their guest book as well as several other touch screen interactive pieces.  All exhibit electronics (computers, screens and case lighting) are controlled by a server (laptop) located within the bench shown on the previous page.  The museum staff on duty simply open the lid and click a large “on” or “off” icon to power up or down then entire gallery.