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Julia C. Lathrop Homes

Research Topic
by

Karolyn Fuller

on 11 May 2010

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Transcript of Julia C. Lathrop Homes

Julia C. Lathrop Homes A Public Works Administration Project As researched by Karolyn Fuller To start off, let's take a look at some facts.. Julia C. Lathrop, born in 1858, passed away in 1932, before these homes were even constructed.

She was born in Rockford, Illinois.

Her father helped establish the republican party. He also served in the state legislature (1856-57) as well as congress (1877-79).

In 1890, Lathrop moved to Chicago where she joined many other social reformers at Hull house.

In 1893 Lathrop was appointed as the first ever woman member of the Illinois State Board of Charities.

The women at Hull House were active in the campaign to persuade Congress to pass legislation to protect children.



Ok. Let's back up. What was the hull house? In 1925 Lathrop was appointed to the Child Welfare Committee established by the League of Nations. The Hull house was the settlement house founded in Chicago, Illinois, by Jane Addams (1860-1935) in 1889. Located in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Hull House was established to provide much-needed social services to Chicago's newly arrived immigrants. Lathrop was a key figure in it's first forty years of existence, and her pioneering social work eventually took her to Washington, D.C. where she served as the first director of the newly created U.S. Children's Bureau from 1912 to 1921. And, this relates to the Lathrop homes how? Well, since you asked.. In 1929, At the beginning of Herbert Hoover's presidency, the stock market crashed, creating what we now
refer to as "the great depression". This meant that men and women in America were now fighting to hold a job. Money grew harder and harder to maintain, and there wasn't much anyone could do about it. However, In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, and it was in his reign that he put into action his plan of attack on The great depression. He would start what would be called THE NEW DEAL. What exactly was the new deal? But, wait!.. Let me refresh your memory! The New Deal was a series of government funded programs that put people to work by using their natural talents. This was a way to involve people in the revival of the economic system. Each program was specifically targeted towards an individual area of the economic system. This proved to be what most would consider a very successful idea. And, here are the new deal programs: Acronym: What it stands for: AAA
CCC
CWA
FERA
FHA
FSA
HOLC
NRA
NYA
PWA
REA
SSA
TVA
WPA
Agricultural Adjustment Administration
Civilian Convservation Corps
Civil Works Administration
Federal Emergency Relief Administration
Federal Housing Administration
Farm Sercurity Administration
Home Owners Loan Corporation
National Recovery Administration
National Youth Administration
Public Works Administration
Rural Electrification Administration
Social Security Administration
Tennessee Valley Authority
Works Projects (Progress) Administration
The Julia C. Lathrop Homes
fall into the tenth option listed above. Created by the National Industrial Recovery Act
on June 16, 1933, the Public Works Administration
(PWA) headed by secretary of the Interior Harold L.
Ickes, budgeted several billion dollars to be spent
on the construction of public works as a means
of providing employment, stabilizing purchasing
power, improving public welfare, and contributing
to a revival of American industry. Simply put,
it was designed to spend "big bucks on big projects." One of these projects was the Julia C. Lathrop homes... Location: 2000 W. Diversey Avenue, Chicago IL 60618 JULIA C. LATHROP HOMES Completed in 1938. A housing development resting on 35.3 acres of land. One of the first three federally funded public housing projects
in Chicago. 925 units. Constructed to create jobs for architects, as well as create a family oriented community at an affordable price. When the lathrop homes were built, they housed many poverty stricken families. This development was successful in creating a better community for families in Chicago. But, what's it like today? Let's take a look! Today, the Julia C. Lathrop homes are still managed by the Chicago Housing Authority. In July of 2006, the CHA announced their intention to demolish the development and replace the homes with an apartment-townhome-condomininium development. However, the residents of this historical landmark called for help from neighbors and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and together they formulated a proposal to revitalize the existing lathrop homes into an even more affordable, low maintenance building.This proposal was titled “Our Vision for the Lathrop Homes". And, while there still has not been a clear announcement of a decision, it's quite obvious that these buildings are a part of a community that is not willing to let anything happen to them. Julia C. Lathrop Homes Today The Julia C. Lathrop homes are still a thriving development which provides affordable housing for the residents. I'm pretty sure that means that these homes were a success story in the Public Work Administrations efforts to create more realistic housing. Their mission was not only accomplished during the great depression, but continues to meet it's goals 72 years after the building was completed. Named after Social Reformist Julia C Lathrop. President Hoover and his wife in 1929. THE END. Thanks for listening! The Concept for Restoration One of the problems that
the CHA has with the Lathrop Homes is that out of the 925 units, 300 of those units are currently vacant due to much needed restoration. Those who wish to keep the homes argue that they should be restored and open for more residents to move in.
And, although this topic is still being discussed,
I think that it would be a poor decision on the CHA's part to demolish this historically important development. And, I'm not the only one who feels this way. One of the residents even wrote a poem about this issue. People moving out and moving inLow income housing on the down lowWhere are we going to live? I might ask myself.Under a bridgeI sweat my brow each dayLook up to the sky, condos all aroundWhere’s my fresh air?Boarded up buildings everywhere,What’s going on in your neighborhood?Mercy, Mercy, Mercy me,So many ghettos of my life,Young people in the system,Smiling faces, turned up faces, pretend to be your friend.Respect lost, domestic violence all over,Women degrading one another,Children starving in the USAWhere is my hope?Where is my God?Forsaken and forgotten people, where is the promised land?By Sandra Cornwell, Lathrop Homes resident
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