1- Historical span
Hull House was founded in 1889 by Jane Addams, and her partner Ellen Gates Starr, as the first settlement house in the United States. The building was a run-down mansion constructed by Charles Hull in 1856, and Adams and Starr turned it into a place where poor immigrants could come to be fed, sheltered, educated and overall taken care of. Hull House made social services and cultural events available for the residents of the house, and overall provided a means by which Addams and Starr could take care of these disenfranchised immigrants who were hoping to start over again in the new world. Once fully established in 1912, it continually served the community (over 60,000 individuals a year) until Addams' death in 1935 ("Who We Serve," 2008). After that, it remained a social service center until the 1960s, and was turned into a museum shortly after that. 2. Geographical location Hull House was located in Chicago, Illinois, in the Near West Side. At this time, the neighborhood was chiefly home to European immigrants who had recently arrived in America.
During the time of Hull House, that neighborhood was known as "the Hull House Neighborhood," and was populated mostly by Italians (Addams, 1999). The services provided by Hull House provided for thousands of people a week: Hull House provided night school classes for adults, kindergartens for children, public kitchens, art galleries, gyms, bathhouse, music school and a library, amongst other resources. Hull House itself was funded by the rent and contributions people who stayed at the settlement house paid, as well as donations from people who would attend music, art and theater showcased at the house (Addams, 1999).3. Utopian vision the key idea or beliefs or goals Addams' ethical principles for Hull House, and social settlements in general, revolved around the ability "to teach by example, to practice cooperation, and to practice social democracy, that is, egalitarian, or democratic, social relations across class lines" (Knight 182). The essence of the utopian vision primarily involves the desire to create a society that is able to provide for everyone involved, with little conflict and maximum cooperation. Utopias are meant to be the most perfect society imaginable, with as little inequality in economics and resources as possible. The key notion to a utopia is that no one is left wanting; everyone is provided for, whether through charity or cooperation with other individuals and groups (Kumar, 1987). There is also an increased emphasis on man's relationship to each other, eschewing war and conflict, and doing all we could to care for others and see to their welfare - all principles that Addams associated with this project (Knight, 2005).4.
Relevance to course how or why is the community/topic/book important to subthemes of our course? Jane Addams and her Hull House project are pioneering moments in social work and social advocacy in America, following the Utopian dream of a pacifistic, community-based paradise where people helped to support and educate each other. It also revolutionized and popularized the concept of settlement houses in America, as they exemplified community-wide efforts to perform productive social work, and advocate for racial and gender equality for a wide range of Americans (Thompson-Gillis, 2012). The hierarchy of the Hull House establishment was much like a utopian society, with the leader (Jane Addams) in absolute control, but with autonomy provided to those who ran the facilities and programs the house provided; after her death, this role was given to various other administrators until its shutting down in the 1960s. In this way, Addams' Hull House was the epitome of utopian cooperation and community. 5. Other interesting elements what did you find fascinating that might also interest others? In addition to the Utopian ideals of Hull House, there are a variety of other significant contributions Jane Addams made to the study and execution of social work and peace efforts in America. Addams was a devout pacifist, speaking out in World War I and advocating for the civil rights of immigrants, a particularly difficult task as immigrants were feared by Americans for their perceived socialist leanings. She campaigned for Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party in 1912, and became National Chairman of the Woman's Peace Party and President of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915 (Cullen-Dupont 4-5). She was a champion of women's and worker's rights in particular, helping to establish eight hour working days for women, worker's compensation, factory inspections and other innovations (Addams, 1999).
List of sources
Addams, Jane, and Ruth W. Messinger. Twenty Years at Hull-House, New York: Signet Classics, 1999.
Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn. Encyclopedia of women's history in America. Infobase Publishing, 2000. Print.
Knight, Louise W. Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. 2005. Print.
Kumar, K. Utopia and Anti-utopia in Modern Times. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. Print.
"Who We Serve". Jane Addams Hull House Association. 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
Thompson-Gillis, Heather J. "Venturing More Than Others Have Dared: Representations of Class Mobility, Gender, and Alternative Communities in American Literature, 1840- 1940." Ohio State University. Doctoral Thesis. 2012. Print.