Hull Home

800 S Halsted St Chicago

Amy Bizzarri
Written By Amy Bizzarri

Pioneer activist, social worker, and peacemaker Jane Addams arrived in Chicago in 1889, she had one goal in mind: to establish a space where newly arrived immigrants could both learn, create and dream their way towards the American dream. She chose a site somewhere near the junction of Blue Island Avenue, Halsted Street, and Harrison Street, a West Side neighborhood bustling with newcomers from around the world, where she claimed the “fine old house standing well back from the street, surrounded on three sides by a broad piazza” and, together with her colleague Ellen Gates Starr, turned it into Hull House, Chicago's first settlement house, officially established on September 18, 1889. Forward-thinking Adams dreamed big. By 1907, the "fine old house" had morphed into a city block long community center. Thousands of area residents poured in each week to learn to read and write, apprentice in a new trade, give birth, drop a child off at the in-house daycare, take part in a club, seek shelter from domestic violence, perform in the theater, check a book out from the library – it is impossible to gauge the impact Hull House's extensive social, educational, and artistic programs had on the surrounding community.

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