Monday, April 27, 2009

Other Museums - Hull House

This week, we're taking a look at immigration museums off the beaten path.

Immigrant families in New York visited the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House for programs like sewing classes and health care. Working class newcomers to Chicago turned to the Hull House for social enrichment. Founded by Jane Addams in 1889, Chicago's first settlement house offered free concerts, art galleries, lectures, daycare, and English classes. Rather than housing immigrants themselves, settlements were populated by middle classs volunteers (often women) wishing to living among and assist the poor. The Hull House was located in Chicago's Near West Side, a vibrant melting-pot community of Jews, Italians, Germans, and Greeks. Today, it's a museum run by the University of Illinois Chicago with a collection of 0ver 1,000 artifacts and 100 oral histories documenting life in the neighborhood.

Children gather in the Hull House complex, which grew to 13 buildings by the early 20th century, and included a summer camp.

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