large three-storied house flanked by two smaller houses with clouds in the background

Twenty Years at Hull-House

by Jane Addams

Start Free Trial

Which experimental programs at hull house were most successful for immigrants?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As a social reformer, Jane Addams was committed to taking her cue from the people that Hull-House served rather than imposing her priorities on community members. After establishing a coffeehouse and a gymnasium inside the settlement house, Addams took note of the social value of having spaces in which neighbors could hold their social gatherings other than a saloon. In her memoir, Twenty Years at Hull-House, Addams wrote, “The experience of the coffeehouse taught us not to hold to preconceived ideas of what the neighborhood ought to have, but to keep ourselves in readiness to modify and adapt our undertaking as we discovered those things which the neighborhood was ready to accept" (88). Another experiment that had great success was the establishment of the Jane Club. The Jane Club was a boarding club established by women working in shoe factories. The purpose of the club was to provide a home for the women that would forgive boarding fees during the event of a strike. This not only helped the individual factory workers, but also increased the likelihood that a strike would be successful. Besides the literacy and trade classes that many settlement houses offered to immigrants and their children, Hull-House sought to honor the skills of artisans and crafts people by creating the Labor Museum. By setting up looms and spinning wheels, Addams gave immigrants opportunities to teach their skills, not only to non-immigrants, but to their own children as well.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team