WBEZ | Hull House http://www.wbez.org/tags/hull-house Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Swept from their homes, Chicago's Latinos built new community http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="300" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/45010154&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Chicago is famous for its ethnic neighborhoods. And there&rsquo;s a funny thing about them. A neighborhood&rsquo;s identity can seem like it has been in place <em>forever</em>, even when big ethnic shifts took place just one or two generations ago. This is how many Chicagoans see Pilsen and Little Village, a corridor with the biggest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest. These neighborhoods have so much vitality &mdash; dense housing, bustling commercial strips, packed playgrounds &mdash; that it seems like Latinos must have been there for ages. A curious citizen named <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#CM">CM! Winters-Palacio</a> was wondering how long, so she asked us:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Why are Latinos concentrated in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods? When did it happen?</em></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LUCY%20FINAL.jpg" style="float: right; height: 328px; width: 400px;" title="Near West Side resident Rosie Valtierra holds her goddaughter there on the day of her baptism in the mid-1950s. City Hall has embarked on massive construction projects that will raze much of the area. Valtierra and many other displaced Latinos will end up in Pilsen. (Photo courtesy of Rosemarie Sierra)" />We answered the <em>when</em> part of the question just by looking at census numbers: Pilsen did not become mostly Latino until the 1960s; Little Village didn&rsquo;t until the 1970s. Answering <em>why</em> those changes happened took a little more work. We interviewed experts, searched newspaper archives, pounded Pilsen&rsquo;s pavement and tracked down some of the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino residents. In our audio story (above), Lucy Gutiérrez, 87, tells us about bringing her family to Pilsen when the place was still populated mainly by Central and Eastern European descendants &mdash; including the Bohemians whose forebears named it after Plzeň, a city in what is now the Czech Republic. Our research also led to some text snapshots from the history. The snapshots begin on Chicago&rsquo;s Near West Side, which included the city&rsquo;s largest Latino enclave just a few decades ago.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">In old neighborhood, the beginning of the end</span></strong></p><p><strong>FEBRUARY 15, 1949</strong>: A Chicago housing official complains about residents refusing to leave a 14-block stretch from Desplaines to Paulina streets to make way for a new superhighway along Chicago&rsquo;s Congress Street. The official, Detlef E. Mackelmann, says some would not go &ldquo;until the buildings next door were being torn down.&rdquo; The highway&rsquo;s first section, completed in 1955, will displace thousands of people. It will be among several massive construction projects that will raze much of the Near West Side, including a Mexican neighborhood that dates back to the 1920s. The projects will include three expressways, a university campus and public-housing developments. Some of those Mexicans will move to Pilsen, a neighborhood just south. They will form the nucleus of what will become a much bigger Latino community. The Congress highway, for its part, will eventually be named the Eisenhower Expressway.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">1</a></strong></span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20PIES%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px;" title="(WBEZ illustrations by Erik Nelson Rodriguez)" /></div></div><p><br /><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">White exodus from Pilsen makes room for newcomers</span></strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 18, 1953</strong>: St. Procopius, a 72-year-old Czech parish in Pilsen, rededicates its school with a Sunday dinner. The meal includes turkey, dumplings, sauerkraut, rye bread and kolacky. The music includes the Czech anthem &quot;Kde domov můj?&quot; and an Antonín Dvořák composition. Although the school has begun to enroll some of Pilsen&rsquo;s first Latino children, today&rsquo;s program includes no hint of their cultures. And Rev. Peter Mizera, the St. Procopius priest, has been complaining to the archdiocese about &ldquo;the recent infiltration of the Mexicans.&rdquo; But Pilsen&rsquo;s white population is declining and growing older as young families head to suburbs. St. Procopius and other parishes will have to open their doors to Latinos. By 1955, six Pilsen parochial schools will be enrolling Mexican children. Over the next two decades, several Pilsen parishes will retool themselves, sending priests to learn Spanish in Mexico, building altars and shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe, even bringing mariachi music into masses. Some other parishes, slow to adapt, will close.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">2</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Campus construction pushes more Latinos into Pilsen</span></strong></p><p><strong>MARCH 19, 1961</strong>: Led by a mariachi band, hundreds of Mexican protesters march from St. Francis of Assisi Church and tie up Near West Side traffic. The protesters slam a City Hall plan to replace their neighborhood with a University of Illinois campus. They blame Mayor Richard J. Daley and shout, &ldquo;Down with Daley,&rdquo; &ldquo;Daley sold us out&rdquo; and &ldquo;Respeten nuestros hogares&rdquo; (Respect our homes). The protest is part of a much larger effort to derail the university plan. Italians, the area&rsquo;s biggest ethnic group, are leading the resistance but Mexicans are also visible. Roughly 4,800 of them live in the census tracts the city wants the university to take over. The resistance will fail. On May 10, the City Council will designate 106 acres for the campus. Some of the Mexicans will move a few blocks west, but campus expansions will displace them again. Many will end up in Pilsen. The University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, meanwhile, will open in 1965.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">3</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Chicano movement builds neighborhood&rsquo;s new identity</span></strong></p><p><strong>APRIL 24, 1969</strong>: More than 100 residents of Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood gather for a public meeting of the Latin American Alliance for Social Advancement, known by its Spanish acronym, ALAS. The meeting occurs at Howell House, a community center focused for decades on Czech immigrants. At the meeting, ALAS endorses Arthur Vázquez to lead Howell House; he will be its first Mexican-American director. The meeting also develops strategies to improve Pilsen schools, expose police brutality and publicize a national grape boycott. The organizing reflects two major changes in Pilsen. First, Mexicans have been pouring into the neighborhood for two decades. Along with the arrivals from the Near West Side, many have come from South Texas or various parts of Mexico. A smaller Latino group in Pilsen has roots in Puerto Rico. The 1970 census will record the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino majority. The other big change is the rise of the Chicano civil-rights movement. Reflecting that change, Howell House will get a new name: Casa Aztlán. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>4</u></b></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2%20MEETING%20TONIGHT%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong style="font-size: 22px;">Latino community expands west to Little Village</strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 30, 1979</strong>: At the urging of Latinos and veterans, the Chicago Park District board agrees to a proposed memorial plaza honoring Manuel Pérez Jr., a World War II hero killed by enemy fire at age 22 and posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pérez grew up on the city&rsquo;s Near West Side long before his neighborhood was razed and before many of its Mexican residents moved to Pilsen. The city will build the plaza in 1980 in Little Village, a Southwest Side neighborhood known as the &ldquo;Mexican suburb&rdquo; because of its proximity to Pilsen, its larger homes, and its fast-growing Latino population. Next year&rsquo;s census will show that Latinos constitute the majority of Little Village residents. The Pilsen and Little Village corridor now has the largest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>5</u></b></span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3%20PLAZA%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><span style="font-size:22px;"><strong>Neighborhoods help put Latino in Congress</strong></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web%20PilsenFoundGutierrez1crop_0.jpg" style="height: 242px; width: 190px; float: left;" title="" /><strong>MARCH 17, 1992</strong>: In a Democratic primary election for U.S. House, Chicago Ald. Luis V. Gutiérrez (26th Ward) easily defeats his strongest challenger, Juan Soliz. A 1990 court order required a Chicago district with a Latino majority. Shaped like an earmuff, the district covers the Pilsen-Little Village corridor and Puerto Rican neighborhoods on the Northwest Side. Gutiérrez, who was an ally of the late Mayor Harold Washington, has Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s backing in the Congressional race. After the general election, Gutiérrez will become the first Midwest Latino in the House. Although his family is from Puerto Rico, whose residents are born with U.S. citizenship, Gutiérrez will champion immigrant political causes and maintain strong support in Pilsen and Little Village. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>6</u></b></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Pilsen remains Latino, but for how long?</span></strong></p><p><strong>MAY 20, 1997</strong>: In the name of job creation, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) leads a rally for a plan that would extend the University of Illinois at Chicago southward to the edge of Pilsen. The Daley administration, meanwhile, is planning a tax-increment financing district to boost industry in Pilsen. Some residents are linking those efforts to gentrification on the neighborhood&rsquo;s east end. Those residents say the changes are threatening Pilsen&rsquo;s Mexican-American character and pushing rents and property taxes too high. This summer, artists led by Hector Duarte (<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">7</a></strong></span>) will transform an outdoor wall at 1805 S. Bishop St. into a colorful mural called &ldquo;Stop Gentrification in Pilsen.&rdquo;&nbsp;The mural will depict United Farm Workers co-founder César Chávez and Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata flanking a multigenerational Pilsen family, a pushcart vendor and anti-gentrification protesters. Such efforts will not stop affluent newcomers from moving into Pilsen but, for years to come, the neighborhood will remain the cultural heart of the Chicago area&rsquo;s Mexican-American community. <span style="font-size:11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">8</a></strong></span></p><p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="color:red"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4%20MURAL%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;"><a name="CM"></a>Our question comes from: CM! Winters-Palacio</span></strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cm winters FINAL.jpg" style="height: 194px; width: 185px; float: left;" title="" />African-Americans in Chicago cannot help but look at the city&rsquo;s most heavily Latino neighborhoods with some envy, according to WBEZ listener CM! Winters-Palacio, who lives in Auburn Gresham, a South Side neighborhood. &ldquo;If you drive through Little Village or Pilsen, they&rsquo;re thriving with little local stores,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;When you go on the South Side, it&rsquo;s a totally different experience.&rdquo;</p><p>Winters-Palacio chairs Malcolm X College&rsquo;s library department and tells us her interests include community development and racial segregation. So what does she think of our answer to her question? Pilsen&rsquo;s Latino identity is &ldquo;relatively new,&rdquo; Winters-Palacio says. &ldquo;It helps dispel one of the myths.&rdquo; Namely, that a strong community must have long historical roots.<a id="sources"> </a>Winters-Palacio says Pilsen and Little Village provide hope for her part of town.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Notes</span></strong></p><p><strong>1.</strong> Lilia Fernández, <em>Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago</em> (University of Chicago Press, 2012). &ldquo;City&rsquo;s &lsquo;DPs&rsquo; sit tight in path of big projects: Evacuation notices just a &lsquo;wolf cry&rsquo; to them,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 16, 1949). <strong>2.</strong> Deborah Kanter, &ldquo;Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-1977,&rdquo; <em>U.S. Catholic Historian, Volume 301:1</em> (Catholic University of America Press, 2012).&nbsp;<strong>3.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;Protest rally today against U. of I. campus,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (March 20, 1961). &ldquo;Council OKs W. Side U. of I. site, 41 to 3: Crowd in gallery boos action, vows fight,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (May 11, 1961). Fernández, op. cit. <strong>4.</strong>&nbsp;Fernández, op. cit. Administrative History, Bethlehem Howell Neighborhood Center collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. <strong>5.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;New post of Legion honors Mexican-American hero slain on Luzon,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (June 30, 1946). &ldquo;Slain vet who killed 75 Japs is honored in memorial service,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 14, 1949). &ldquo;Ordinance requesting the City of Chicago to convey the Manuel Pérez Jr. Plaza to the Chicago Park District,&rdquo; <em>Journal of the Proceedings of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District, </em>1979-1980. <strong>6.</strong> John Kass, &ldquo;Gutiérrez picks up Daley&rsquo;s backing for Congress,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (December 10, 1991). Lou Ortiz, &ldquo;Gutiérrez coasts toward big win in Hispanic district race,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (March 18, 1992). <strong>7.</strong>&nbsp;Editor&#39;s Note: Duarte is married to WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton. <strong>8.</strong> Gary Marx, &ldquo;Opposition brewing to UIC expansion; proposal may drive out the poor, foes say,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (March 12, 1997). Ernest Tucker, &ldquo;Latinos urge UIC to move forward with expansion,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (May 21, 1997). Teresa Puente, &ldquo;Pilsen fears upscale push may shove many out,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (November 4, 1997).</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a>&nbsp;is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1" target="_blank">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">@WBEZoutloud</a>. <a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">Erik Nelson Rodrigue</a><a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">z</a>&nbsp;is an&nbsp;illustrator and graphic designer in Chicago.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 Home Economics at Hull House Museum http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-12/home-economics-radical-roots-domestic-labor-104323 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YQm1C_iTIJM" width="640"></iframe></p><p>Back in <em>my</em> day (I&rsquo;ve always wanted to start a review with those words!) home economics was still part of the middle school curriculum. We learned to follow a recipe, to set a table and clean up after our classroom meals, and to sew important objects, like pillows made out of washcloths or dangerously skimpy pot holders.</p><p>I was never keen on the domestic arts and sciences, a truth made clear by my sloppy stitches and thrown-together dishes. Though had I known more about the history of the field, I might have been more willing to apply myself. Thankfully, <em>21<sup>st</sup> Century Home Economics</em>, a new year-long exhibition at <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/">Jane Addams Hull-House Museum</a>, offers an opportunity to form a new relationship to the discipline. The show explores the way women used the science of domesticity to escape their confinement in the home and carve out public roles for themselves. In doing so, they were able to fight for and secure a number of social reforms, from better working conditions to safer food.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6808_milk-scr.jpg" style="height: 280px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="History of Milk reform, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (WBEZ/Alison Cuddy)" />At first it&#39;s hard to see that history. There is so much clutter crowded into the small second-story exhibition space&nbsp;&ndash; tea cups, books, sewing machines and more &ndash; &nbsp;that entering feels like stepping into ye olde curiosity shoppe. What does stand out is a pair of large, stunning photographs of important figures from the early days of home economics.</p><p>One is of&nbsp;<a href="http://libraries.mit.edu/sites/mithistory/community/notable-persons/ellen-swallow-richards/">Ellen Swallow Richards</a>, a chemist and the first woman admitted to MIT. She helped integrate germ theory into an emerging discipline: &nbsp;linking bacteria in food to illness in people. Her work inspired various reform efforts at Hull House, including a political campaign for sanitary milk (a history cleverly told through text printed on old-fashioned glass milk bottles).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In fact, most home reformers had broad agendas. &nbsp;Utopian writer <a href="http://www.charlotteperkinsgilman.com/">Charlotte Perkins Gilman</a>&nbsp;(best known for her short story &quot;<a href="http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/wallpaper.html">The Yellow Wallpaper</a>&quot;) imagined a world of collective rather than private kitchens and laundries, a social arrangement she hoped would free women from the drudgery of what we now call the &ldquo;second shift.&rdquo; That&#39;s a remarkable vision, especially since <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/168612/daddy-wars">women continue to do the bulk of childcare and housework.&nbsp;</a></p><p>The exhibition taps into the radical heart of home economics&nbsp;by connecting these 19<sup>th</sup> century histories and ambitions to present struggles.&nbsp;Beneath a large portrait of a Hull House servant named Mary Keyser, you&rsquo;ll find narratives and artifacts from current domestic workers. A sponge sits in a glass case next to a text describing the efforts required to bathe a morbidly obese client.&nbsp;These contemporary testimonials make visible the enormous labor <em>and </em>care involved in domestic work. And a different sort of representation is also in the works. The Chicago Coalition of Household Workers (formerly known as the Latino Union), who partnered with Hull-House on the exhibition, is currently working to get a<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/nannies-and-housecleaners-speak-about-abuse-104092">&nbsp;domestic workers bill of rights through the Illinois state legislature.</a></p><p>Curator Heather Radke says that was an important goal of the show&rsquo;s collaborators (which range from labor organizers to individual artists): to make sure this kind of work is not just well-paid &nbsp;but well understood, especially as a labor of love.There are critical views of contemporary politics as well. A chalkboard inviting ideas about food justice contrasts the collective organizing of early reformers against contemporary desires to &quot;buy our way to social change&quot; by frequenting farmers&#39; markets or selecting fair trade products.</p><p>All of the elements that make <em>21<sup>st</sup> Century Home Economics </em>so inviting and successful &ndash;&nbsp;its busy, inquisitive, interactive, and community-focused approach &ndash; are hallmarks of every exhibition put on by the staff at Hull House. That the museum isn&#39;t content just to be a repository for the good deeds and material possessions of Jane Addams, but functions as a lively, of-the-moment community space, is thanks to the vision and leadership of Lisa Yun Lee.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6812_lisa%20lee-scr_0.jpg" style="height: 375px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="Lisa Yun Lee" /></div><p>Lee became director at the museum in late 2006, after founding <em>The Public Square</em> event series at the Illinois Humanities Council. And in just six short years, she&#39;s led a radical make-over of the museum. For Lee that mission was almost a historical imperative.</p><p>&quot;In this 21st century moment, if you want to know historic facts or figures there&#39;s really no reason why you&#39;d need to go to a physical space,&quot; she said. &quot;The Internet has that kind of information for you.&quot;</p><p>Instead Lee thinks a museum needs to be &quot;about the cultural, social and political relationships you have or want to have not just with history but with other people, and yourself.&quot;</p><p>So at Hull House, people come together not just to preserve history but to preserve jam, hold pot lucks, or debate politics. The museum has convened public discussions of trending topics like the cultural phenomenon of sports star Jeremy Lin (full disclosure: I moderated the event), conducted workshops on how to interact with law enforcement, and invited artists to invent alternative histories for some of the museum&rsquo;s artifacts. They also run a farm and an art lending library.</p><p>Lee said the diverse programming reflects a shared sense among her staff that &quot;museum making is an artistic practice.&quot;</p><p>But now Lee is moving on. This month she steps down as director at Hull House Museum to lead UIC&rsquo;s School of Art and Art History. There she&#39;ll lead a year-long reorganization of the school. But she&#39;ll also continue her efforts to create a &quot;vibrant public sphere.&quot; Lee noted that &quot;art, art history, museums, are rarified elitist things historically. But they&#39;ve also been sites of revolution and subversion. It&#39;s just a matter of finding new ways of talking about and communicating that to people.&quot;</p><p><em>&#39;Unfinished Business: 21 Century Home Economics&#39; is at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum through November 2013.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-12/home-economics-radical-roots-domestic-labor-104323 The birth of Hull House http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-09/birth-hull-house-102429 <p><p>Jane Addams was the first American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She started earning the prize on September 18, 1889. That was her first day at Hull House.</p><p>Addams was born in 1860, the youngest daughter of a wealthy family from northwest Illinois. While on a visit to London she was impressed by the Toynbee Hall settlement house. This was a new concept in charity. In the past, concerned people might visit poor neighborhoods and do works of mercy during the day, then return to their own middle-class homes at night.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/9-18--Hull%20House%20grounds%2C%201910.jpg" title="Hull House, 1910 (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>The settlement idea was different &ndash; the &ldquo;social workers&rdquo; would actually live among those they were trying to help. Addams thought the idea would work in Chicago. She had recently inherited $50,000 on the death of her father. In the spring of 1889, with her friend Ellen Gates Starr, Addams set out trying to put her plan into action.</p><p>She decided to locate on the Near West Side. During a scouting trip in the area of Halsted and Polk, Addams noticed an old brick mansion that had seen better days. This was the onetime residence of Charles J. Hull, now owned by his niece. The niece agreed to lease the property rent-free, so the grateful Addams named the settlement Hull House.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-18--kids%2C%201908.jpg" title="Neighborhood kids at the settlement, 1908 (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>The idea of two well-bred, upper-crust young ladies setting up housekeeping in a notorious slum caused some consternation, and some amusement. Addams and Starr did have to do some adjusting. On their first night, they forgot to lock one of the doors &ndash; in fact, they left it wide open. When they woke up the next day, and found nothing was missing, Addams took it as a hopeful sign for the future.</p><p>Hull House was a success. The people of the neighborhood came to accept Addams and Starr. Within a short time the settlement offered medical care, a dining room, bathhouse, library, gymnasium, lodging for about 20 women, night school for adults and the city&rsquo;s first kindergarten. The property eventually had thirteen separate buildings, plus a summer camp in the country.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-18--Jane%20Addams%2C%201927.jpg" title="Jane Addams, 1927 (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>Jane Addams died in 1935, Ellen Gates Starr five years later. During the 1960s, most of the settlement buildings were razed for the UIC campus, but the original mansion remains as a museum. The Jane Addams Hull House Association continued the work of its founder until this past January, when it ceased operations.</p></p> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-09/birth-hull-house-102429 Truth in numbers: Former gang members discuss the reality of Chicago's rising homicide numbers http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/truth-numbers-former-gang-members-discuss-reality-chicagos-rising-homicide-numbers <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Vice%20Lords.jpeg" title="(Photo courtesy of Bobby Gore)" /></div></div><p>Last weekend was a bloody one: More than 50 shootings were reported, nearly 20 percent of those were fatal. Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues.</p><p>Neighborhoods on the city&rsquo;s South and West sides have been hardest hit by homicides&mdash;the concentration of crime is typical; and while crime, overall, is down, homicides are on the rise. Last year, between January and May, there were 144 homicides; this year, there were 208. Last year, 56 of the 144 victims were in their 20s; this year, 103. These areas have been likened to a war zone. In fact, if it was a war zone, it would be deadlier than Afghanistan.</p><p>According to the Department of Defense and FBI data, 2,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. During that same period of time, more than 5,000 Chicagoans were killed.</p><p>Estimates put Chicago&rsquo;s gang population at roughly 70,000 members. But experts say these once organized, structured groups have splintered. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the &quot;fracturing&quot; of larger gangs into smaller ones has doubled the number of factions and conflicts. And former gang member Benny Lee agrees&mdash;there&rsquo;s a total lack of accountability on the streets.</p><p>When Lee was a young leader in the Vice Lords, there were older members keeping him in check. Because even though he was running his own crew, the Apache Vice Lords, his Geronimo-inspired sect was still a part of the greater Vice Lord nation. But eventually Lee found himself in and out of jail. And each time he returned, his Austin neighborhood was a little worse. The older Vice Lords who kept him&mdash;and the community&mdash;in check were gone. And so were the resources.</p><p>Lee has tried to be a resource for the men in his family and community. He serves as a community liaison and reentry specialist for TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) and founded the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated Mentor Program. He&rsquo;s also a professor at Northeastern University in the Center for Inner City Studies.</p><p>Lee has a lot in common with Eddie Bocanegra. Both men worked as violence interrupters with CeaseFire. Bocanegra was featured in the award-winning documentary, <em>The Interrupters</em>. Lee and Bocanegra joined <em>Afternoon Shift</em> for a frank discussion about the rise in violence, strategies to quell it and the realities of life as an ex-offender.</p><p>Lee&rsquo;s story is featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Hull House Museum: &quot;<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/cvl/index.html#!Home/mainPage" target="_blank">Report to the Public: An untold story of the Conservative Vice Lords</a>&quot; opens June 22.</p></p> Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/truth-numbers-former-gang-members-discuss-reality-chicagos-rising-homicide-numbers Hull House staffers surprised by early closing http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-27/hull-house-staffers-surprised-early-closing-95884 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-27/home_girlsreading.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Friday evening will mark the end of an era in Chicago, when The <a href="http://www.hullhouse.org/" target="_blank">Jane Addams Hull House</a> will officially close its doors at 5:00 p.m. In 1889 Jane Addams created Hull House. According to Addams, the purpose of Hull House was to, &quot;aid in the solutions of life in a great city, [and] to help our neighbors build responsible, self-sufficient lives for themselves and their families.&quot;</p><p>Addams received a lot of help--monetarily speaking and otherwise--throughout the years. However, after years of declining donations, Hull House has been forced to shut its doors.<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by the Hull House Association&#39;s board chairman, Stephen Saunders, to find out what is next for Hull House. But before addressing the future, Hull House volunteer coordinator Mark <span dir="ltr" id=":1el">Tisdahl</span> joined the conversation to ask Saunders--what happened? Many employees said they, like many community members, were surprised to learn that Hull House would be closing its doors earlier than expected.</p></p> Fri, 27 Jan 2012 14:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-27/hull-house-staffers-surprised-early-closing-95884