How Women Saved the City

How Women Saved the City

by Daphne Spain
     
 

Urban History/Women's Studies

Reclaims the lost history of women's contributions to the development of American cities.

In the days between the Civil War and World War I, women rarely worked outside the home, rarely went to college, and, if our histories are to be believed, rarely put their mark on the urban spaces unfolding around them. And yet, as this book

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Overview

Urban History/Women's Studies

Reclaims the lost history of women's contributions to the development of American cities.

In the days between the Civil War and World War I, women rarely worked outside the home, rarely went to college, and, if our histories are to be believed, rarely put their mark on the urban spaces unfolding around them. And yet, as this book clearly demonstrates, women did play a key role in shaping the American urban landscape.

To uncover the contribution of women to urban development at the turn of the nineteenth century, Daphne Spain looks at the places where women participated most actively in public life-voluntary organizations like the Young Women's Christian Association, the Salvation Army, the College Settlements Association, and the National Association of Colored Women. In the extensive building projects of these associations-boarding houses, vocational schools, settlement houses, public baths, and playgrounds-she finds clear evidence of a built environment created by women.

Exploring this environment, Spain reconstructs the story of the "redemptive places" that addressed the real needs of city dwellers-especially single women, African Americans, immigrants, and the poor-and established an environment in which newcomers could learn to become urban Americans.

Daphne Spain is professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia.

Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816635313
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
12/28/2000
Pages:
311
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexi
Acknowledgmentsxv
ONE Voluntary Vernacular1
TWO Why Cities Needed Saving30
PART I Paths to Salvation
THREE Sacred and Secular Organizational Ideologies63
FOUR Voluntary Associations with an Urban Presence87
PART II Redemptive Places
FIVE New York City Headquarters, Smaller City Branches125
SIX Boston, the Cradle of Redemptive Places174
SEVEN Men Build Chicago's Skyline, Women Redeem the City205
EIGHT How Women Saved the City236
Appendix A: Literature Review249
Appendix B: Organizational Charters255
Appendix C: Addresses of Redemptive Places for Boston, New
York City, and Chicago261
Notes269
References275
Index295

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