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  • Collection ID ARCHIVES GHC
  • Creator Names Gads Hill Center (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Title Collection, c. 1900-1950.
  • Physical description 175 photographs, 2 drawings, scrapbook/photo album.
  • Collection arrangement The materials in the Gads Hill Center Collection consist of individual photographs, a photo album/scrapbook and drawings which document the activities of the settlement house c.1900 to 1950. The scrapbook pages are in the order in which they were when obtained by the library. The two drawings are included in the portrait series. The mostly undated and unidentified individual photographs had no order when accessioned and are arranged in subject order.
  • Biographical or Historical Note Gads Hill Center was established as a settlement house in 1898 in the Pilsen Community to serve the needs of poor immigrant families. Gads Hill Center was called Gads Hill Social Settlement until 1916 and the original mission was "to improve the living conditions of the neighborhood and to assist and stimulate the people of the district through education, helpful recreation, wholesome social intercourse, and neighborly cooperation ..." Through the years the center has offered services which include: a nursery school, kindergarten, Head Start programs and parent education classes; a music school and an alternative high school; an employment agency and a Community Technology Center. Gads Hill Center was also the home of a Chicago Public Library sub-branch until 1988. Over 100 years old, Gads Hill Center is currently still operating at the original address at 1919 West Cullerton. It serves the largely Mexican immigrant community of Pilsen, in which it is located, as well as the Near West Side neighborhoods of North Lawndale, Little Village and Back of the Yards. Pilsen is bounded by the Chicago River on the south and east and the Burlington Railroad on the west and is within the Lower West Side Community Area. It was first occupied by Irish and Germans immigrants who settled here in the 1840s. Many jobs for unskilled laborers were available in this heavily industrial area after the Chicago fire of 1871 and Bohemian immigrants came in great numbers. Italians, Lithuanians, Poles and others followed but the neighborhood takes its name from a city in West Bohemia. Mexican migrants began to move into Pilsen during labor shortages in World War I and later, as the University of Illinois expanded in the 1950s and 1960s, displacing Mexican residents on the Near West Side. Today Pilsen is a strong predominately Mexican American community that celebrates cultural traditions with vibrant Hispanic themed neighborhood festivals and murals.
  • Access and usage restrictions Available for research in the Special Collections and Preservation Division Reading Room of the Chicago Public Library.
  • Acquisition information Mr. Reginald Horsman donated the Gads Hill Center Collection to the Special Collections and Preservation Division at the Harold Washington Library Center in 2006. The collection was processed in July of 2009.
  • Finding Aids Note Finding aid available in the Reading Room of the Special Collections and Preservation Division.
  • Names
    • Gads Hill Center (Chicago, Ill.) Archives.
    • Gads Hill Center (Chicago, Ill.) fast (OCoLC)fst01782723
  • Geographic coverage
    • Pilsen (Chicago, Ill.) History Sources.
    • Illinois Chicago Pilsen. fast (OCoLC)fst01327778
  • Genre
    • Archives. fast (OCoLC)fst01423700
    • History. fast (OCoLC)fst01411628
    • Sources. fast (OCoLC)fst01423900