Posts Tagged ‘Christmas in Greenwich Village’

Christmas at a Village settlement house

December 18, 2009

That’s quite a festive Christmas tree these Greenwich Village kids are posing in front of. They’re celebrating the holiday at the Greenwich Settlement House, which still stands on Barrow Street today. 

The photo, from the New York Public Library, is undated. Looks like it’s from the early 1900s, when settlement houses popped up in lots of poor New York neighborhoods.

They were funded by wealthy residents to help “settle” new immigrants by providing health care, job training, and art classes.

They taught their little charges well. A New York Times article from December 1914 reports that the kids from the Greenwich Settlement House would be singing carols in hospitals on Christmas Day:

“In addition, the children are rehearsing a play to be produced at the settlement house on Tuesday,” the article states. “After the play, each little girl and boy will receive a big bag of candy and an orange. Many of the children have decided to give their candy to the sick folk for whom they are to sing.”