Growth of Henry Street
Lillian Wald, 1867 - 1940
"Clinton Hall, patronized by four to five hundred thousand people a year was created to furnish decent gathering places for labor people, as well as for social occasions. Until it was opened, honest, sober, and dignified working people had been practically dependent upon the saloons for their meeting places."
Wald envisioned the Henry Street Settlement as an opportunity to unite "people through their human and spiritual interests." As a result, the Settlement continually expanded to meet the needs of its community. In 1904, Henry Street built Clinton Hall, a public meeting and social space.
Continually expanding the range of its services, the Settlement's nursing, club work, and dramatic activities were supplemented with vocational training for boys and girls, a library and study, and a savings bank. In the early 1900s, the Settlement also opened branches in and around Manhattan and the Bronx, some specifically designed to serve the Italian, Hungarian, and African-American communities. By 1903, eighteen district nursing service centers treated 4500 patients a year. Sick women, children, and workers were sent to Settlement "convalescent" homes on the Hudson River, and children took summer field trips to a Settlement-owned farm in Westchester County.
- "Clinton Hall..." Florence Kelley, "Report of the Henry Street Settlement, 1893-1913," (Henry Street 1913)51.
- "people through their human..." From Lillian Wald, "Settlements." A Speach to Jamaica Women's Club, Feb. 2, 1913.