Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House was founded in 1894 by the Alumnae Association of Normal College (now known as Hunter College of the City University of New York) as a free kindergarten for the children of indigent immigrants. Since then, we have remained at the forefront of community advocacy and social and educational change. We have long been a center of community leadership in addressing such issues as affordable housing, poor working conditions, health care, hunger, early childhood education, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, juvenile delinquency, crime prevention and long-term care for older adults.
LENOX HILL SETTLEMENT (circ. 1910)
The description of Lenox Hill Settlement House below is copied from the HANDBOOK OF SETTLEMENTS, a national survey published in 1911 by The Russell Sage Foundation of New York. This collection of detailed information about settlements operating circ. 1910 was collected, organized and written by two settlement pioneers: Robert Archey Woods and Albert J. Kennedy. This Handbook contains a detailed description of Lenox Hill at the time, including the names of the Head Worker and Residents.
Lenox Hill Settlement
(Formerly Normal College Alumnae Settlement, 1894-1911) 444 (1904)-446 (1894) East Seventy-second Street
Established October, 1894, by the Alumna of Normal College as a development of a kindergarten and certain forms of social work growing out of it. “Normal College Alumnae House exists for the mutual benefit of its neighbors and the students and graduates of the Normal College. Its purpose is to give social expression to democracy; so to study its neighborhood as to gain insight into its best life and its special needs, and, as a result of this study to stimulate self-help and co-operation, and wisely to lead and share the movement of the neighborhood toward civic consciousness and righteousness.” Incorporated March 6, 1911.
Neighborhood. “Alumnae House is in the heart of Bohemian New York. Our neighbors are not physically weak like the poor Hebrews who have come from the ghettos of Europe, nor illiterate like the poor Italian peasants, but strong, healthy men and women, nearly all of whom can read and write. They have halls of their own, numerous benefit societies and a distinct social life, so that we find here a small Bohemian city with a population of 20,000 which has curiously little to connect it with American New York. We discovered this summer that some of the working girls had never seen the Dewey Arch. The people keep to themselves, use the Bohemian tongue in their homes, and send their children to afternoon classes, so that they may learn to read and speak Bohemian correctly. In this foreign neighborhood a settlement has peculiar opportunities for usefulness.”
Activities. The usual civic supervision, working partly through its women’s club and civic club. Co-operates with the public schools, making canvasses when necessary to insure attendance. Made several studies of the conditions in the tobacco factories where many young Bohemian girls work, and is carrying on a study of occupations of children between fourteen and sixteen years of age. Kindergarten has been taken over by the Public School. Has been fortunate in securing an unusual degree of neighborhood co-operation and good will.
Maintains kindergarten; library; savings; music (piano); classes in English for men and women, sewing, embroidery, Bohemian industry, cooking, brass work, painting, basketry, corrective gymnastics, folk dancing; clubs for literary, civic, dramatic and social ends; Sunday concerts. Summer Work.—Play hour; open house, etc. The House secured (1908) an A. I. C. P. Milk Depot for its quarter. Excursions and picnics, vacations in co-operation with Fresh Air agencies.
Residents. Women 5. Volunteers. Women 29, men 6.
Head Res1dents. Mary A. Wells, Oct., 1894-Apr., 1898; Dr. Annie L. Langworthy, Apr., 1898-May, 1899; Clara Byrnes, May, 1899-May, 1900; Dr. Jane E. Robbins, May, 1900-May, 1904; (Mrs.) Mary Anderson Hill, May, 1904-Apr., 1907; Alice P. Gannett, Oct., 1907-.
Literature. Author1zed Statements. See also: Normal College Alumnae House. Ethical Rec, Vol. I, No. 2. Normal College Alumnae House, Clara Byrnes in special issue of Alumnae News, April, 1899 — Bureau of Labor Statistics State of New York. Eighteenth Annual Report, 19oo. Part ii, pp. 307-313 — Alumnae Settlement House. Commons, vi, No. 68 (Mar., 1902) — Sayles, Mary B.: Settlement Workers and Their Work. lll. Outlook, lxxviii : 304-311 (Oct. 1, 1904). A Harvest Festival. Char. and Commons, xvii : 575 (Dec. 29, 1906). Art1cles By Res1dents. Robbins, Jane E.: Chautauqua’s Social Settlement Week. Commons, vii, No. 73 (Aug., 1902). The Bohemian Women in New York. Charities, xiii ; 194-196(Dec. 3,1904). What a Boys’Club Teaches. Commons, ix : 274-276 (June, 1904).