Chicago Tribune, May 22, 1935
Miss Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and for nearly half a century a leader in social settlement work, died at 6:15 o’clock last evening in Passavant hospital where she underwent an abdominal operation last Saturday. She was 74 years old.
After her death the physicians disclosed for the first time that Miss Addams was the victim of an internal cancer, and could have lived only a short time had she survived the operation. The fact that she was afflicted with cancer had been kept from Miss Addams since 1931, when it was first discovered during an operation for a tumor at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore.
Extent of Ailment a Surprise.
At that time, according to Dr. Charles A. Elliott. one of the three physicians who attended her during her last illness, a small cancerous growth was found.
When Saturday’s operation was performed to remove an Intestinal obstruction, Dr. Elliott explained, the physicians expected to find the cancer, but had not suspected the extent to which it had grown. The operation was performed by Dr. Arthur H. Curtis, with Dr. Elliott and Dr. James A. Britton in attendance.
Miss Addams’ unawareness of the nature of the disease that was to cause her death was reflected In her recent activities. On May 3, apparently in good health, she went to Washington to attend the anniversary celebration of the WVomen’s’ International League for Peace and Freedom, which she founded in 1915. Upon her return, according to her nephew and next of kin, Prof. James Weber Linn of the University of Chicago, Mliss Addams was “riding the crest of the wave.”
“She hadn’t the vaguest idea that anything was wrong,” said Prof. Linn last night. “She was filled with a zest for life, one of her typical characteristics.”
Last Visit to Hull House.
On May 14, a week ago yesterday, Miss Addams paid her last visit to Hull house, where she still retained active control. She did not follow her usual custom of dining there, however, but returned to the home of her friend, Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen, in Astor street, with whom she had lived for the last five years.
That night she became ill. When Dr. Britton told her last Friday that an operation was necessary at once’ Miss Addams made a characteristic reply: “I’ll be ready in half an hour, Just, as soon as I finish this book I’m reading.”
Immediately after the operation, Dr. Elliott said, Miss Addams was placed under opiates and suffered no pain. At one time she replied to one of her physicians, when asked how she was feeling:
“I feel very well. An old doctor friend of mine once told me that the hardest thing in the world to kill was an old woman.” And then she added airily: “I guess he s right.”
Nature of Disease a Secret.
Prof. Linn, explained that edge of the cancer was kept from Miss Addams after the operation, and that for this reason no notice of it was given to the public.
“If we had told her and she had rallied,” he said. “she would have had this worry. And her many friends would have worried during the few remaining months of her life.”
The veteran social worker, whose “zest for life” had inspired not only the residents of Hull House and the many poor families of the neighborhood but every one with whom she came in contact rallied after the operation. But early yesterday she fell into a coma from which she did not emerge.
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End Is Peaceful.
Dr. Elliott, who was with her at the end, said she in a heavy. peaceful slumber and coma all day.
With Dr. Elliott at the bedside was Dr. Alice Hamilton. professor of medicine: at Harvard; and close friend of Miss Addams in her social work. As she emerged from the hospital room to tell the watchers in the corridor outside tears filled her eyes and her voice trembled.
The watch at the hospital at that thine consisted of Prof. Linn, Miss Amelia Sears. county commissioner. and Thomas Allinson of Ravinia, close friends of Miss Addamn. Others had been there throughout the day. Dr. Curtis and Dr. Britton had left half an hour before to get rest after a vigil of many hours.
Truck loads of flowers were received at the hospital, but none were allowed in Miss Addams’ room because of her condition.
Plans for Obsequies.
In order to give the friends of Miss Addams an opportunity to see her for the last time, the bodv will lie at rest
In Bowen ball of Hull house from p. m. today until 2 p. m. tomorro At 2:30 o clock tomorrow simple nondenominational funeral see Ices will be held In Hull House Which has room for only 1,000
Dr. Charles W. Gilkey, dean of the University of Chicago chapel, will conduct the services. The benediction will be given by Dr. Graham Taylor, het of the Chicago Commons, an old frier of Miss Addams,
Members of the Hull House Women club will constitute a guard of hono and the house musical clubs will pr vide music during the service. All acti Itles at the settlement, with the excel tIon of the Boys’ clubs, will be su pended until Monday out of respect of the founder. On Friday the body will be taken to Miss Addams’ birthplace in Cedarville, near Freeport, where it will be buried beside the graves of her mother, father, and seven brothers and sisters,
Her Friends Pallbearers.
The honorary pallbearers as al nounced last night by Prof. Linn are:
Gov. Horner, Sewell Avery, Rober Maynard Hutchins, George Packarx Henry P. Chandler, John J. Sonsteby, Edward L. Ryerson Jr., Robert Morse Lovett, Frederick H. Deknatel, Harrison A. Dobbs, Charles E. Merriam Charles Hull Ewing, William H. Regnery, Charles Yeomans, William Byron, Robert Cairo. Lloyd Lehman Charles Schwartz, Kenneth Rich, Robert Hicks, Wallace Kirkland1, Theodor Herviss, James Forstall, and Frank Keyser.
STORY OF HER LIFE
Jane Addams has often been “America’s foremost woman.”
From a frail, sensitive girlhood in a small Illinois town she grew to be in known through the sheer power of the spiritual force which she reflected into the dark places of human life and thinking everywhere.
After warming himself before the at Hull house, William T Stead wrote In his famous philippic against the evils of Chicago:
“There is still one hope for the new social democracy, and when I reflect upon Jane Addams’ mission and contemplate the true meaning of the work she has built up I am sure that if Christ ever comes to Chicago He will stop at Hull house.”
President Theodore Roosevelt referred to her as “Chicago’s most useful citizen.”
Miss Addams to the last regarded herself as “a very simple person” and seemed somewhat astonished at the honors that were heaped upon her in this nation and abroad.
Ruled by Love for Poor.
The leading motive of her whole life was love for the poor, and she strove, first by living among them. then through organization and politics and in writing, to spread the leven of social Improvement. She remained always, however, with the base of her efforts and affection in Hull house at 800 South Halsted street, the first social settlement house in America.
Thousands will remember her as she stood on the speaking platform. one hand always fingering a chain of some sort that hung from her neck, her face tilted a little upward, a mannerism that came to her from spinal trouble in childhood, talking rapidly in crisp, simple sentences that seemed to go irresistibly to the heart of the matter.
Other thousands of Chicagoans, timid Italians mostly, or Poles or wholesome Irish washerwomen, will recall quiet, neighborly talks that smoothed out their troubles as if by magic.
In her later years she turned more to pacifism, in which cause she became an international and often criticized figure, but in her long period of leadership at Hull house her practical work in behalf of the poor won widest acclaim.
Father a State Senator.
Jane Addams was born on Sept. 6, 1860, in the village of Cedarville. Her mother, Sarah Weber Addams, soon after the child’s birth. Her father John H. Addams, a miller and banker, was for 18 years state senator from his district. He was known throughout the state as a man of unassailable character and the small Jane was inordinately proud of him.
In an autobiography written years afterward for a magazine Miss Addams describes herself as an ” ugly, pigeon toed little girl, whose crooked back obliged her to walk with her head held very much upon one side.” She tells how she prayed with all her heart that she would never be pointed out as the daughter of this “fine man” who, she says, “to my eyes at least, was a most imposing figure in his Sunday frock coat, his fine head rising high above all the others.”
So when she went to church with the family, Jane said she would walk with her uncle, James Addams. In the hope that she might be mistaken for his child.
A Tender Conscience.
“But even in my chivalric desire to protect him (her father) from his fate,” she adds, “I was not quite easy in the sacrifice of my uncle, although I quieted my scruples with the reflection that the contrast was less marked and that, anyway, his own little girl was not so very pretty.”
The child’s Interest in “things worth while” began at her father’s knee. Once she came home to find him looking extremely grave over tidings of the death of Joseph Mazzini, the Italian patriot. She could not understand. for her father did not know Mazzinl, who was not even an American. He told her, patiently, what the work of a liberator meant to any man who loved humanity.
She found her father in tears for the first time, she says. over the death of President Lincoln.
“I remember the day.” she writes, “when at my request my father took out of his desk a thin packet ‘Mr. Lincoln’s letters.’ These letters began: ‘My dear double-D’d Addams,’ The shortest one was stamped with that indelible personality.”
Ambition to Be a Doctor.
Miss Addams wanted to be a physician. She graduated from Rockford college and then entered the Woman’s Medical College of Philadelphia. That same year—1881—her father died. A stepmother kept the home together, but the daughter set out to look for a career.
She never became a physician, for the that shadowed her ali her life compelled her to give up her medical studies. For the greater part of a year she suffered from a persistent spinal fever. When she was sufficiently recovered her stepmother took her to Europe.
They spent two years In England, Germany, Italy, and other parts of the continent. In London Miss Addams became fascinated with the story of Arnold Toynbee, a young tutor at Oxford who had conceived the idea of living among the lowest classes of society and transmitting to them by daily, personal something of the culture of the university.
Toynbee had just died, but for several years before his death he spent his summer vacations in a tenement in Whitechapel, where he was successful and became widely known in his memory a social settlemen known as Toynbee hall was established, and here the sensitive glrl caught her first glimpse of real poverty.
When she came back her mind was made up. There was to be another Toynbee hall in America and Miss Addams was to be its founder—or at least to help.
She had a friend in Cedarville—Ellen Gates Starr, a girl of her own age, congenial, sympathetic, and interested in the same things. MIss Addams told of what she had seen and what she wanted to do. Miss Starr promptly became enthusiastic. One sweltering September day the two calmly announced that they were through with their comfortable homes in Cedarvllea and came to Chicago to hunt up the slummiest slum to be had.
The Old Hull Residence.
Back in 1864, Charles J. Hull, one of the wealthy Chicago wagon makers of that period, had built a residence on South Halsted street, then an uptown region of green lawns and big shade trees. The house had widely arched parlors and big, airy hallways. In a conservative way it was one of the “show places” of town.
But time brought changes to the Hull mansion. Halsted street began to fill up with small shops and Mr. Hull, with the other wealthier folk, moved west. His former home deteriorated step by step until it became a tenement.
It was populated chiefly with Italian families when two young women stopped in front of it one afternoon in September, 1889. and said: “That’s the place.” Soon afterward the neighbors were amazed to see that the Italians had been moved out, the place scrubbed clean and possession taken by two quiet girls who, somehow, plainly intended to live there.
Miss Addams had found it surprisingly easy to arrange things with the Hull estate. Miss Helen Culver. its representative, not only welcomed the newcomers but assumed the rent of the premises herself.
Charles J. Hull Mansion
No. 335 South Halsted
Robinson Fire Map
Name a Natural Growth.
The Institution had no name at first. When it was referred to, people simply spoke of “No. 335 South Halsted street.” (No. 335 became 800 when Chicago changed its numbering system.) This persisted for some time but curious folk were always referring to the place as “the Hull house” and after a year or two the name was accepted as official.
Miss Addams and her lieutenant—from the start the former was the acknowledged leader—were a puzzle the neighborhood couldn’t fathom. Catholics thought they were trying to proselyte their people. Protestants looked askance because the young women said they were not religious workers. Everybody asked: “Why are they doing this?”
But bit by bit the confidence of the motley west side population was won. Women came and brought their children. The men dropped around in the evenings to see what this strange, hospitable establishment was like.
Wealthy Chicagoans Help.
Wealthy Chicagoans became interested and sent contributions. Enthusiastic young men and women began to ask If they couldn’t live there, too. Hull house suddenly became famous. There had been tentative experiments in this country. but this was the first real social settlement in America.
How new buildings were added; how the work progressed from children’s clubs and free kindergartens to classes in literature, music, painting, weaving. bookbinding, and scores of other subjects; how a nursery, a gymnasium, a theater, a savings bank, and a lodging house came into being—all this is a part of familiar Chicago history.
Dr. Hamilton at Hull House.
One of the earliest workers at Hull House, a close friend of Miss Addams, was Dr. Alice Hamilton, the first woman professor in the medical school at Harvard university. A graduate of the University of Michigan In 1893, where she got her medical degree, Dr. Hamilton became a leader in medical and sociological activities in Chicago.
After her appointment as assistant professor of Industrial medicine at Harvard, Dr. Hamilton divided her time equally between the university and Hull house. While at Hull house, during a typhoid epidemic in the late 90s, Dr. Hamilton made the discovery that the common fly was a carrier of typhoid, and this contributed signally to the knowledge of the disease.
Another of Miss Addams’ closest friends and colleagues in her work was Miss Julia Lathrop, in her later years head of the children s bureau In Washington. They came from adjoining counties. Neither was ever married. Their work for social amelioration ran along parallel lines.
Field of Activity Widens.
Miss Addams didn’t confine her activities to Hull house. She went to work on the community by obtaining an investigation of sweatshop conditions. She brought about the appointment of the first woman factory inspector and the passage of the first Illinois factory law. She had herself appointed garbage inspector of the Nineteenth ward and effected a substantial decrease in the death rate.
In 1905 she went to Springfield and in a spirited battle of wits before a legislative committee defeated a bill designed to let children appear on the stage in Illinois. Her efforts were responsible for various measures for the protection of working women.
The Battle for Suffrage.
Woman’s suffrage she advocated as a means to the ends she was seeking. but she never let herself be known primarily as a suffragist
In 1912 she launched out into the Theodore Roosevelt campaign and at the Progressive convention she was the first woman to second the nomination of a presidential candidate. She took the stump for Roosevelt and devoted much of her time to speech making.
Soon after the outbreak of the European war Miss Addams declared her belief that active efforts for peace should be made by neutral nations. She became an outstanding pacifist leader. In January, 1915, she was elected president of the woman’s peace party at Washington. Then Queen WilhelmIna of Holland issued the call for the women’s International peace conference at The Heague.
Miss. Addams attended the conference and was promptly elected its president, The women of the various nations represented hailed her without hesitation as an international leader.
After the meetings were over she toured the continent and was granted audiences with the foreign secretaries of virtually every belligerent power, as well as with the pope. Her return to the United States on July 5 was the signal for a remarkable demonstration in New York. After addressing a huge audience there she went to Washington and told President Wilson what she had observed in Europe.
A Great Chicago Welcome.
It was two weeks before she came back to Chicago, but when she did come she received a warm welcome. Committees representing the city council and various civic organizations arranged a meeting at the Auditorium where. In characteristically simple fashion, she told her hearers that If the neutral nations could bring about peace by crawling on their knees to the belligerents it should be done.
Miss Addams came back with a well formed plan for a conference of neutrals. On Thanksgiving day she met Henry Ford in New York and won his support to the movement. Ford told her of his peace ship plan and Miss Addams agreed to be one of the party.
She realized that the things she was preaching were not wholly popular. Ex-Prestdent Roosevelt, her stanch friend for years. publicly attacked the organization of which she was president. Her opposition to the preparedness idea was widely criticized.
I probably never shall be applauded again,” she told a Chicago audience In November.
Illness Heeps Her from Peace Trip.
But just before the Ford peace ship sailed Miss Addams was taken to the hospital. She was compelled to abandon the trip and remain for some time under the observation of physicians.
A few months later Col. Roosevelt called on her in Chicago for the last time. Differences of opinion did not count, and the former President made his pilgrimage to her door as he did every time he came to Chicago.
More Visits to Europe.
Miss Addams, presided at the International Congress of Women at Zurich in 1919, at Vienna in 1921, and at The Hague again in 1922. In 1925 she made a visit to Mexico and returned to start a campaign against what she termed “America’s policy of imperialism In Mexico.”
Her work in international peace movements occupied her more and more during her later years. In October of 1931 she visited the White House with a delegation of 500 representatives of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In December she was informed that she and Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia university, had been awarded the Nobel peace prize for 1931. She announced that she would donate her share of the prize for the work of the women’s league for peace, of which she was president from 1915 to 1930. Two other prizes for achievement came to her during the last year, amounting to $10,000. The money was promptly donated by her to social welfare work in Chicago.
In explaining her peace donations, she said later:
For years I’ve been asking people for money for peace, and so it seemed a little inconsistent when I got a little money of my own not to give it to peace.
Opposed to “Pink” Elements.
Despite her continual battles in behalf of peace, her opposition to increased army or navy appropriations. and her opposition to all conscription acts, Miss Addams retained her patriotism and a contempt for the “pink” element.
Nor was she ever a strong advocate of prohibition—at least, not the way in which It was handled in the United States. Prohlbition. she maintained, was a result of “self-righteousness” on the part of a great many people, and that brought its downfall.
Despite her increasing 1li health during her declining years, Miss Addams continued her efforts for world peace, She won praise from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as she had from his Illustrious namesake, “T. R.”.
One of her last public utterances was on May 4, this year, when she made the first round-the-world – broadcast from Washington in behalf of her ideal of peace.
1 Wallace Kirkland was a social worker at Hull House who became a well known photographer for LIFE Magazine.
The Bricklayer, September 1902
The Settlement House
BY ALLEN B. POND.
HULL HOUSE, whose career as a settlement began in September, 1889, amicably disputes with the College Settlement at No. 95 Rivington Street, New York, the claim of being the first social settlement in the United States. In the year 1856 there was erected at No. 335 South Halsted Street a home for one Charles J. Hull. The builder and owner was a successful man in the yet
new West, and the house was spacious for that day and excellently built. In addition to the drawingroom, library, dining-room and the other usual apartments of a northern house of the period, there was an octagonal office in a one=story wing to the south, opening from the library
and on to the veranda. The material was a purplish red brick, in texture and color not unlike the common brick of Sayre & Fisher. On three sides of the house were broad verandas; a low gabled roof covered the high attic surmounting the second story, and the wide eaves were carried by heavily molded brackets. Indeed, after the mode of the time, columns, lintels, casings and cornices were all heavily molded; the interior door and window casings being some 12 inches wide by 8 inches deep and elaborately built up of rope and other moldings.
Then the house stood proudly alone, flanked by the almost unbroken prairie. In the fall of 1889, when Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr quietly established their home in the second story of the house, dingy, forlorn and prematurely old, the first story was used as the oñice of a furniture factory-a wooden shell that crowded up against the rear of the mansion; and the second story, drenched by the rains that poured through innumerable holes in the neglected tin roof, had long been the home of shifting and shiftless tenants. The meadows and prairie had been swallowed up in a wilderness of brick and lumber; close against the house on the north stood a shabby frame shed which housed an undertaking establishment; on the south were toppling and decayed frame buildings used by dealers in coal, hay and feed and second-hand bottles, with upper floors given over to tenements. The unhappy mansion, setting a little back from the highway, still preserved a conspicuous individuality; and though its builder had long been dead and the heirs of his estate had fled to a more congenial neighborhood, the old house was still known to the neighborhood as “ Hull’s House.” Its new second-story tenants during the winter acquired the use of the old drawing-room occupying the north half of the first-story front; in the following spring secured the lease of the entire house; and, dropping into the speech of the neighborhood, fell to referring to their home as “Hull House.” And in time this name became an accepted and irrevocable part of the “good will” of the premises, even to the extent that on the continent of Europe it has taken on a generic significance; and “a Hull House” is, in sociologically inclined quarters, the understood designation of social enterprises of a similar type.
Detail of Court on Halsted Street
A year and a half after its foundation, Hull House, feeling the need of more room than the old house afforded, ventured, on the strength of a four years‘ lease, to erect its first building— “Butler Gallery”—a two-story structure cheaply built of common brick, with unpaved, partially excavated basement.Here in the first story, now the lesser lecture room and on occasion the supplementary drawing-room, was at the outset a branch station of the public library; and in the second story, now given up to chambers of men in residence, were two “galleries” for loan exhibitions of pictures and for use of clubs in the interim
Its next enterprise, in 1893, on the strength of a seven years’ lease, was the first coffee house and gymnasium,—a two-story brick building which during the year 1901 was moved, raised, remodeled and converted into a three-story building facing north on Polk Street, just across the alley to the west of Hull House. This new Gymnasium building is put to various uses. On the first floor are: in front, the labor museum — to illustrate and in the mind of the worker integrate the various industrial processes from the raw material to the manufactured article
through crude early hand processes to modern power machinery; back of this, the cooking school—used also by dressmaking classes; in the south end, the shops for classes in mechanical drawing, wood and metal working and pottery molding. On the second floor are the studio for classes in drawing and modeling, the book bindery, the physical director’s room and the locker and shower rooms. On the third floor are gymnasium and boxing rooms. In the partial fourth story are gymnasium gallery, supplementary studio and casting room and storeroom. That same year, 1893, the first boiler house was built and steam heat replaced the furnaces until then in use. Shortly there after a dynamo was installed for generating current for incandescent lighting. This year, 1902, the boiler house and heating and lighting plant, out-grown, are to give place to the plant indicated on the block plan. The boiler and engine rooms are to be in a semi-detached building a basement and half story high, whence are to be furnished heat and hot water for the entire group of buildings, including the proposed Crane Tenement, and where will be located also a central garbage crematory in which garbage will be utilized as fuel for heating water for the plumbing system. High pressure steam will be employed for production of electricity, for operating blower and for cooking; the heating will be by low pressure and exhaust steam, the return circulation being facilitated by vacuum pump.
In 1895 a third story was placed on Hull House itself to provide additional chambers for women in residence; and both before and since that time the old mansion has been subjected to much remodeling. The old dining room has become the residents’ library; where the old kitchen, laundry and back staircase were is now the residents’ dining-room, some 31 feet long and served via a small pantry from the coffee-house kitchen; the partition between the old drawing-room and the somewhat narrow front stair hall has been almost wholly cut away so that the old drawing-room now forms merely part of a large reception hall, the front end of which is a thoroughfare to the Auditorium and Children’s House. The old house in its present form affords: on its first floor, reception hall, parlor, library, office, residents’ dining-room; and on its second and third fioors, fourteen bedrooms and four bath rooms, besides a trunk room and linen and housemaids’ closets.
In 1895 the Children’s House was built at the northeast corner of the block, in contact with Hull House only at its southwest corner and without direct access from Hull House. Here, on the first fioor are two boys’ clubrooms; on the second floor the crèche with its two bedrooms, dining-room, kitchen, toilet room and “sunshine porch” guarded by wire netting; on the third floor the kindergarten with its toilet rooms and balcony; on the fourth, three rooms used for children’s music classes. The following year a third story was put on the “Butler Gallery” for men in residence; and now, as remodeled, there are provided on the second and third floors of the Butler Building eight rooms for men with requisite bath and toilet rooms.
One of the earliest enterprises fostered by Hull House was the founding of the working girls’ coöperative home which was organized and incorporated under the name of the “Jane Club.” This club, whose purpose was to show that working girls could have a home of their own conducted at scarcely greater expense than the poorest boarding house entailed, was launched in six flats opening on a common staircase in a three-story building on Ewing Street not far from Hull House. In 1898, the Jane Club, having demonstrated its ability to sustain itself in quarters ill suited to its needs, was provided with a building specially designed for its uses and erected on land bought for the purpose under the auspices of friends of Hull House. The Jane Club building faces Ewing Street, just across the alley west of Hull House, and is separated from the Gymnasium building by a public alley parallel with Ewing Street and running west from the alley back of Hull House. In the basement and three stories are: laundry, trunk room, kitchen, serving-room, dining-room, drawing-room, library and bedrooms for thirty girls,—twenty single and four double rooms,—with ample bath and toilet facilities.
Halsted and Polk Street Fronts
Halsted and Ewing Street Fronts
View of the social center from the corner of Ewing and Halsted streets, with Smith building in the immediate foreground. To the left of the Smith building is an open court which leads to the original Hull house. To the right of the Smith building, on Polk street and across the alley, are gymnasium building, Bowen hall, and the boys’ club.
In 1895 Hull House secured a twenty-five years’ lease of the premises having a frontage of 118 feet on Halsted Street and extending westward some 162 feet on Polk Street. It seemed warrantable to build more substantially thereafter than on the short leases ruling hitherto. There was urgent need of an auditorium to relieve the constant demand on the gymnasium room to do double duty; the coffee house no longer met the needs of the patrons; and in 1899 a fire proof building was erected north of Hull House and west of the Children’s House and in contact with each. The main entrance is from Polk Street, but by a vestibule in its southeast corner an exit and secondary entrance were provided for the Auditorium building through the Children’s House vestibule, and an opening at this point to the old drawing-room afforded the first under-roof connection between Hull House and the Children’s House. The Auditorium, with a view to its frequent use for amateur theatricals, was equipped with a stage having movable scenery and contiguous dressing-rooms. In the gallery, at the end opposite the stage, space is arranged for future installation of a pipe organ. The walls of both coffee room and Auditorium are faced on interior with a d11ll-red pressed brick; the ceiling of the coffee room is formed by the actual tile arches that support the second fioor, and these tiles, washed and treated to a single coat of boiled oil, ranging in color from a light whitish buff to a deep sienna, make a very effective and architectural ceiling, demonstrating the possibilities of the material now universally hidden by plaster.
In the fall of 1900 Hull House acquired a fifty years’ lease of the ground already under lease until 1920 and of the remainder of the block bounded by Halsted, Polk and Ewing and the first alley to the west of Halsted and of forty feet on Polk west of this alley. The terms of the lease required the opening of this west alley and necessitated the moving of the Gymnasium to which reference has already been made. In the fall of 1901 Hull House began the erection of a building on the south end of the block for the purpose of providing through rentals an in come to be applied toward the maintenance of the House. On the first fioor at the north end of the Halsted Street wing are three rooms (conversation, billiard and reading), with coat room, shower and toilet rooms for use of the neighborhood “ Men’s Club,” which had had quarters in the first Gymnasium building. The remainder of the building is given to flats for housekeeping and to bachelors’ apartments. These latter open through a fire door to the second story of the Butler Building and are intended to supplement the space given to _men residents, though their use is not restricted to actual residents of Hull House. The outcome of the occupancy of these fiats, completed this spring, will have a certain social interest, as the tenants literally come from all ranks of society above the very poorest, and the settlement theory of “social unification” will be put to an extreme practical test.
Detail on Halsted Street Front
The Jane Club and the Hull House Association apartment building are, literally speaking, no part of Hull House, the “social settlement,” though they are part of the Hull House group of buildings and owe their existence to the creative inspiration of Hull House. This year it is expected that there will be added to the group yet another building which will sustain to Hull House much such relation as does the Jane Club. Plans are now underway for the Crane Tenement, to be erected next west of the Jane Club on a piece of land having a south frontage of 100 feet on Ewing, a depth of 1o4 feet to the alley and bounded on the west by another alley. This building, in quadrangular form, will have basement and four stories on the north and basement and three stories on the south, east and west. It will contain on the first fioor front a playroom for older children, on the second floor front a crèche, on the third fioor front a kindergarten. The crèche will be more than double the size of the Hull House crèche, and the kindergarten some twenty per cent larger; and on the completion of this new building the creche and kindergarten in the Children’s House will be discontinued and the space devoted to children’s clubs and classes. In addition to these special features the Crane Tenement will contain twenty-six flats (three of them capable at need of subdivision into six) which it is proposed to rent to the poorest families that can pay rent at all. In the tenement, as in the Hull House apartment building, there are no light wells, and each stair hall, living room, bedroom and bath room opens directly on to the outer air; the central court in the tenement will be 50 x 55 feet. The entire group thus has a frontage of one block (226 feet 4 inches) on Halsted Street, of 122 feet 9 inches on Polk and Ewing back to the first alley, of 126 feet 6 inches additional on Ewing from the first to the second alley, and of 40 feet additional on Polk west of the first alley.
This rapid survey of the origins and history of the several buildings that comprise the Hull House group will have made it clear that the plant as a whole cannot lay claim to being a closely knit, highly developed organism. And this, I take it, is one of the reasonable tests of a building—that when it must necessarily be made up of parts having special functions but still interrelated and severally interdependent, this interrelation, as in a closely knit organism, shall be achieved in a most direct and natural way, so that the functioning of the parts and of the whole shall be in a logical process and without waste. Judged by this test a building must be held to be successful in proportion as its uses flow easily and without cross currents through their destined channels, so that it shall seem to the close observer that the ends sought were clearly foreseen and that the means of meeting them were evolved as a whole and not patched together on straggling afterthoughts. In short, when we study a building from the standpoint of plan considered as the crystallization of uses, its logic must convince us by its directness, its simplicity, its clarity. If this standard is severe it is nevertheless a wholesome thing for architecture. And if when applying it we recall our own experience with instances of problems whose inherent difficulties were aided and abetted by the idiosyncrasies of owners or committees, it should be possible for us to judge a building rigorously and yet without expressing condemnation of the architect, whose warrantable plea of confession and avoidance may not have reached our ear. Judged by this test Hull House is plainly rather an aggregation of partially related units than a logical organism. It is, however, only fair that this rigor of judgment shall be somewhat abated for a building or group of buildings that has grown by a long series of wholly iinforeseeable accretions to an original accidental unit.
INTERIORS, HULL HOUSE
RIGHT: Residents’ Dining Room
RIGHT: Coffee House
LEFT: Labor House
Architecture is, morever, many-sided and appeals not only to dispassionate reason, but to sentiments that can with difliculty be rationalized. Continually in the Old World we chance upon some building that cannot stand a critical analysis from the view point of clarity of plan, that bears the marks of changes and additions wrought by successive generations of users, but whose heterogeneous whole has an indisputable homogeneity that defies logic and triumphs over cross currents and contradictions; each set of occupants, intent on their own immediate need or whim, has changed the uses of parts, has added other parts, working with diverse materials and in divergent styles; and through it all the building has somehow preserved a certain unity and individuality of its own. We are accustomed to finding this sort of subtile process taking place in buildings evolved during a considerable period of time. As a matter of fact Hull House in the period of twelve years has gone through just such an evolution as these Old IVorld buildings have in as many generations. Neither the faith nor the fantasy of its founders anticipated so diverse and so great a growth. Therefore the successive steps in building did not logically look forward to or prepare the way for those that followed. But there is a certain homogeneity, almost an individuality, to the group; and it is said to have something of charm to the public and of interest to the architect by reason of the handling of materials. Although Hull House, in the range of its activities, covers a far wider field than inheres in the settlement idea as first conceived, the spirit and methods of Hull House are distinctively those of the social settlement; and, when adding to its buildings, it has measurably succeeded in avoiding an institutional and formal aspect.
The comment naturally suggests itself that, in the case of each of the three settlements whose plans have been considered in detail, there were peculiar local conditions that affected the result. Each was a solution in a way of its own problem; but does any of them approach closely to a satisfactory ideal solution of the general problem of social settlement planning? Hull House, starting in an old mansion, lacking prescience of its future and limited at first by short land ten11re and cramped ground area, was without organic systematization in its growth. The Commons problem is complicated by the injection of the necessity of providing for the requirements of the church society on an already insufficient ground area. Even at the Northwestern, although the problem is simplified from the fact that the work holds quite closely to the usual settlement type, the ground area was too small and the available funds for building quite inadequate. Suppose that there is presented the problem of planning and designing a building for a settlement, and that, within reasonable limits and short of extravagance, land and money are available, is there any sort of scheme that seems peculiarly fit? Before attempting to answer this query, it may be interesting to make the further inquiry whether the social settlement, admittedly unique among modern philanthropic enterprises. is wholly without parallel in the past.
David Swing Settlement
A backward glance will at once suggest, it seems to me, a striking analogy between the social settlement and the distinctively missionary monastic foundations of the Christian church. I say “ missionary” monasteries, because the settlement plainly bears no resemblance whatever to those anchorite or ascetic monastic communities whose members sought by distance and thick walls wholly to detach themselves from the world. There is another sort of monastic establishment, great missionary settlements whose members, in addition to their religious functions, were students, teachers and craftsmen. The members of these communities did for the Europe that was being evolved out of the chaos of war and barbarism that followed the “wandering of the nations” an inestimable service-preaching the sacredness of human life, teaching letters and fostering literature and ideas, and, not least, teaching by example the dignity of labor. Great Britain was dotted with these missionary settlements, bulwarks against barbarism, forerunners of civilization. They also believed and taught the efficacy of creeds and formulae; and to them the thought of a future life was an omnipresent and all-potent factor in the present life.
A change has come over the spirit of the western world; less and less weight is given to creeds; and it is tacitly admitted that our business in this world is with this life in its larger meaning, .and that when we get to another world it will be time enough to deal with questions of a future life. We find that at the very core of our civilization, in the great cities that are the nerve centers of the commercial and industrial life that we boast, masses of men and women and children are in a condition of mental and moral and physical deprivation compared with which the militant barbarism of the pre-feudal and feudal ages seems almost benign. The social settlement in our unevangelical, scientific, industrial age is the\ legitimate sociological successor of the evangelizing and teaching and working monastic establishment of the earlier and middle Christian centuries. The monastic quadrangle, with its combination of refectories, assembly rooms, libraries, shops and individual bedrooms, is the analogue of the settlement building to-day. Long before the thought of this analogy had been suggested to me, when as yet no Chicago settlement had essayed a building built for its own uses, our firm was called upon to make tentative sketches for two settlements, and in both instances, without knowledge of existing models, had settled do\vn on the quadrangular form. Neither project was carried out. The earliest was for a settlement soon thereafter inaugurated in a shabby old dwelling; but when, some years later, it made abeginning of building for itself, the work fell into other hands. The other—the proposed David Swing memorial settlement—was abandoned entirely. The rough studies for this latter scheme are reproduced with these articles. I incline strongly to the opinion that the quadrangular type is peculiarly adapted,—-perhaps, given space and money, best adapted to express the settlement spirit in a plan wherein the differentiation of functions can be achieved without loss of organic coherence. In the quadrangle, livableness and homelikeness are readily made to coexist with the sheltering of the necessary formal functions. It is curious to note in this connection that Toynbee Hall—the first settlement to be founded and perhaps the only one that made its original début in quarters built expressly for it — is a quadrangle, although for quite other reasons than the ones that led our firm to hit on the quadrangular type. In the case of Toynbee Hall the founders conceived it to be a part of the settlement idea that those who founded a settlement should transplant in their new location the exact mode of life that they had been leading and should share this as well as themselves with their neighbors. They were university men; and, in consonance with this theory, Toynbee Hall was patterned on the quadrangular scheme of an English college. Whether, had the Toynbee men not been English university men, they would still have hit on the quadrangular type, is a wholly speculative question. They would indeed have lacked the particular reason that did decide them to use it; but as Englishmen they were familiar with monastic and college quadrangles, and the peculiar appropriateness of the scheme would be quite as likely to have occurred to them as it did to us who, knowing nothing at that time of the plan of Toynbee Hall and never having lived in a college quadrangle, still came by a logical process to the same result.