The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


We left Fort Wayne early this morning and I want to record for the information of one of my most careful readers, that today I finished "the sweater", so I am one up on Christmas presents!

Miss Charlotte Carr, who left New York to take the position of head of Hull House, met us at the station in Chicago,/and in a few minutes we found ourselves in Miss Addams' apartment. Hull House is an old house and when you begin to see the different parts of it, you feel a little as though you were in a rabbit warren, but there is an atmosphere about it which will seem entirely familiar to any one who has ever been to Henry Street Settlement or Greenwich House in New York City.

In each case one great personality has created that atmosphere. Miss Jane Addams in Hull House, Miss Lillian Wald in Henry Street, and Mrs. Mary Simkhovitch in Greenwich House. These women have something in common, intensively individual as each one of them , there is a spirit of self-abnegation, an ability to throw oneself completely into the work which they are doing which is common to all.

After a luncheon at which imagine many different points of view were represented, though not know Chicago very well, I can only give you this as an impression. I talked to the heads of two well-known unions; heard an eminent professor express his point of view, and sat by the head of the United Charities.

After lunch the heads of the various mothers' clubs came to extend a welcome.

Then we went through the house, meeting a number of the neighbors in both the auditoriums and not forgetting the kitchen which had served us our very excellent lunch.

Miss Addams must have had one taste in common with Miss Lillian Wald, for I noticed at once in the dining room a beautiful collection of brass and pewter, which could only be duplicated in Henry Street.

We left Hull House to pay a flying visit to the Jane Addams housing project. This is in one of the worst slum sections of Chicago and though the houses are complete, the rents are still under discussion so nobody as yet has been able to move in. I am again impressed with the fact that in all these housing projects a woman should be employed to go over the plans who will do so with an eye to placing the furniture in the rooms and then living in them afterwards. No matter how good the architects are, this particular power to vizualize the room when lived in seems to be left out of them.

Mrs. Dorothy Draper in New York has been giving just this kind of service in the planning of more expensive apartments and homes, but it is much more needed in the low cost projects, and should certainly be a woman's profession.

We stopped for a few minutes with our old frienf, Louis Ruppell at his paper, The Times, saw Mr. Finnegan, glanced into a number of departments and caught our train for Dubuque, Iowa.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 19, 1937

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a draft version of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. My Day column draft dated November 18, 1937, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY
TMsd, 18 November 1937, AERP, FDRL