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Constructing the Hull-House Complex
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Gendered Philanthropy and Social Space
 
by Rima Lunin Schultz

In the field of philanthropy, there were outstanding women who used their wealth to further social reform causes and to make the city a place where culture and civility prevailed. These women were "social philanthropists" and they contributed money for buildings and programs for social change . One of the ways in which they promoted social change was to fund the construction of institutions whose relevance was connected to neighborhood or local community welfare: housing, settlements and recreation centers, playgrounds, bathhouses, missions, kindergartens, and clinics. Daphne Spain, in her recent book How Women Saved the City (2001), calls these "redemptive places" and distinguishes them from the male hegemonic cultural structures of the downtown: art and science museums, fountains and central city parks, monuments and civic arenas, and the skyline itself.
  How Women Financed Hull-House
  Helen Culver and Philanthropy: A Businesswoman's Approach
  Other Hull-House Philanthropists: Edward B. Butler, Mary J. Wilmarth, Julius Rosenwald, William E. Kent and Others
  Jane Addams, Louise deKoven Bowen and "Begging": The Art of Fundraising
     
Experimentation and Growth: From Victorian Mansion to 13-Building Complex
 
by Rima Lunin Schultz

In 1889, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, co-founders of the Hull-House settlement, approached "settling" in the spirit of experimentation. Starr and Addams were urban pioneers. The physical development of the Hull-House complex—beginning with the interior transformation of the original Charles Hull residence in 1889—and ending when the last or thirteenth structure of the complex was completed in 1907, is a dramatic metaphor for the social experiment in which they and other women and men residents engaged. In the context of Victorian society, they had to overcome conventional boundaries and remake the traditional sphere defined for women's and men's activities.
  Settlement Architecture and Interior Design
  Touring the Buildings: Inside the Complex
  Clothing in "Bricks and Mortar"
  The Jane Club
  Coffee House and Nutritional Cooking
  Jane Addams Reflects on the First Twenty Years
     
Constructing Social Space: Clubs, Forums, and Voluntary Associations
 
by Rima Lunin Schultz

Before long Hull-House had a full schedule of clubs, lectures, associations, classes and activities. Residents and volunteers led groups. The concept of social space was tied to the original idea of establishing a comfortable, safe and aesthetically inspiring environment in which educated and privileged women and men would develop reciprocal relationships with neighborhood people. Jane Addams envisoned the clubs as opportunities for such exchanges and was more concerned about the quality and spirit of socializing than in the skills or information being disseminated, the training being offered, or the games or dramas in which children and adults engaged. There were exceptions, however; music lessons were given to children whose potential was evidenced. Youth with promise were encouraged to take courses at the University of Chicago, for example, and given scholarships. The multitude of drama clubs supervised by Edith de Nancrede are the best example of how the settlement or socializing spirit trumped any elitist model. Often young children began their drama experiences doing children's plays and continued to be part of the drama club system into their young adult years.
  Clubs And Activities
  Immigrants' Protective League
  Juvenile Protective Association
  Mary Crane Nursery
     
Women's Clubs at Hull-House and New Roles for Women
 
by Rima Lunin Schultz

Addams was a strong advocate for the organization of women into a system of clubs that promoted social reform. It was in this network of activist women's clubs that Addams saw females attain their highest calling in the performance of duties beyond family responsibilities. Here in the "woman's sphere" women assumed their social responsibilities, what Addams referred to as the "social claim." It comes as no surprise that Addams and her colleagues in the settlement movement formed women's clubs iThe proliferation of local women's clubs in late-nineteenth century America was part of the social transformation of the role of women in the workplace and in public life. Beginning in the 1870s, women in Chicago, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia formed clubs. Initially for literary and cultural studies, women's self-education soon turned to public or civic affairs. In Chicago the Chicago Women's Club was established in 1876; by 1896, it had changed its name to the Chicago Woman's Club, signifying its support of woman suffrage and its interest in an ambitious agenda of reform initiatives including a prohibition of child labor, anti-sweatshop legislation, and protective legislation for women workers. The club's committees sponsored art in the public schools, school nurses, milk inspection and a juvenile court system. Jane Addams and other Hull-House residents were members of the Chicago Woman's Club, the premier network of social activist women in Chicago and a model for the national movement of women's n the neighborhoods where their settlement houses were located in an effort to spread the structure and philosophy of organized womanhood.
  The Social Settlement and Clubs for Women
  The Hull-House Woman's Club
  Who Ran the Hull-House Woman's Club?
  The Social Activism of Hull-House Clubwomen