Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

positions, but a large proportion of those who fill what have been regarded as the less responsible positions in the offices of charitable societies.

An interesting article was written some time ago upon the subject of the after careers of college graduates, by President Charles F. Thwing. He examined an encyclopedia of bibliography which gave certain facts concerning the fifteen thousand best known men of the United States. He grouped them in seventeen different professions; and it was very interesting to me to see that he gave philanthropy as one of them. The number of persons who devoting their time to philanthropy was 180. There were only two professions in which there were a smaller number of people-actors and inventors. Then he gave the proportion of the people engaged in each profession who were college graduates, and he found that sixteen per cent of those engaged in philanthropic work were college graduates. There were only three of the professions in which the percentage of college graduates was smaller-explorers and pioneers, artists and inventors. We must accustom ourselves to the fact that in these days new professions are being born with every decade, or perhaps two or three within a decade. The matters that recently were regarded as proper subjects for the novice, now are conceded to demand skill and training. The nursing of the sick is one of the most striking instances in which a profession has been developed, professional standards secured and attained, and untold human suffering thereby relieved. The so-called learned professions are only becoming such slowly, and in that direction this profession is certainly moving forward faster than any other. The thing that we most need is some training school which

shall give us proper professional standards.

In conclusion, a few words of advice. Don't be discouraged by the fact that you do not find a concensus of opinion on many subjects relating to charity. Men of training will differ largely on most subjects with which we will be concerned. Remember that this is also true of the other professions, of medicine, of law, and of theology. I really feel that we have in this field as much solid ground as in any other line of thought.

Secondly,-write

a great deal. Do not become too absorbed in your regular duties, but take time to put into sentences, to be read to, or read by, the public, your ideas and the results of your experience.

To the members of the committee and to the citizens of New York other than the members of the class who are present, I should like to say that we have a great field in this Summer School, and in the possibility of its early development into something permanent and important. I was thinking only this afternoon that one of the most permanent and important educational institutions in this city, one of the very important departments of Columbia University, only fifteen years ago, consisted of a committee, a clerk, a circular, and an idea. We have all of these except the circular, and that, I believe, is in preparation, and I firmly believe that we are working on the line of a great and important need; and that this school, or something which shall be suggested by this school, will become one of the very important educational movements in this country.

TENEMENT PLANS.

There has been an interesting discussion about tenement houses going on recently in the columns of the Real

Estate Record and Guide between Mr. Peter Herter, an architect and a builder and Owner of tenement houses, and Mr. Ernest Flagg, also an architect and a builder and owner of tenement houses, and a member of the Tenement-House Committee of the Charity Organization Society. It began in the form of an editorial interview with Mr. Herter, who urdoubtedly considers himself a practical architect and builder, as well as one who understands the tenement-house

problem and the desires of tenementhouse dwellers. Mr. Herter claims to speak from the point of view, not simply of the landlord, but of the tenant as well; and there is an appearance of practicality and reason in his remarks which gives them certainly all of the force to which they are entitled.

He begins with the assertion that because of the risk and trouble, and the increasing bills for yearly repairs as tenement-house property grows older, investments should yield ten per cent net profit; and that money when invested in other good forms of security ordinarily yields as large a return as ten per cent. One does not wish to speak of Mr. Herter's arguments in the same way in which he speaks of Mr. Flagg's, but it is surprising that a "practical" man should apparently be ignorant of the prevailing rates of interest on government bonds, on real estate securities, and other safe investments. In view of the fact that four per cent is high interest on government bonds, and

also of the fact that loan and investment companies can get practically all the money they want for four and one-half per cent, it seems a bit curious that a "practical" man should assert that investing in good bonds and mortgages will net ten per cent.

Mr. Herter's plan shows fourteen rooms to the floor, with ten of the fourteen rooms lighted only from narrow spaces two feet eight inches to three feet wide at the sides of the building, forming dark wells that were practically of no use for light, "but serving as excellent flues for the spread of noise, odors, and disease from floor to floor, and from apartment to apartment," as well as fire from apartment to apartment, and from building to building. The plan is not at all satisfactory with respect either to sanitary considerations or to privacy of apartments.

The most important point in Mr. Flagg's discussion is his assertion that houses free from the evils to which he calls attention as belonging to Mr. Herter's type of houses, can be built at less cost. According to Mr. Flagg an entirely unnecessary amount of space is devoted to wells and partitions, and he gives examples of plans in which only sixteen and a half per cent of the area of the lot is occupied by these parts. Mr. Flagg's building covers five per cent less of the lot and gives a rentable space about four per cent greater than Mr. Herter's.

In Mr. Flagg's plans, privacy is secured, and there is an outlook for each room on a space not less than six feet six inches in width. Each

apartment has its own water-closet, and the rooms have cross ventilation. All bedrooms can be reached from the living room without passing through any other bedroom. Five-sevenths of the apartment have an outlook toward the street. The stairs are abundantly lighted at every floor, and the long dark corridors are abolished.

In comparing the two plans, Mr. Herter claims for his own the merit of putting living rooms either in the front or in the rear of buildings, the only two positions where there is any outlook, and says that tenants will not rent buildings with any other arrangement of rooms. That may all be very "practical," but as a matter of fact, buildings with Mr. Flagg's method of arrangement do rent to good advantage, as is evidenced by a report made in the same issue of the Record and Guile in which Mr. Herter's article appears. The report shows that the Alfred Corning Clark group of tenements on Sixty-eighth and Sixty-ninth streets, which were built by Mr. Flagg on the plan which Mr. Herter calls impracticable, do rent well, and do pay a good rate of interest. Of the 373 apartments which these houses contain, the average vacancies for the year numbered only seventeen, or 4.56 per cent of the whole number, and they paid six per cent upon the investment, besides one per cent upon the investment toward the general expenses of the company.

The New York Times in commenting on this matter says:

The question is, of course, of the

very greatest moment. To maintain that no tenements can be built at a profit which radically differ from the accepted type is to maintain that the tenement-house reformers are wasting their time. It is even to maintain that the great majority of the inhabitants of New York must continue to be lodged in places unfit for human habitation. That is a conclusion which we should not admit except upon upon unimpeachable and overwhelming evidence.

One remark made by the advocate of rationalizing the traditional tenement-house plan strikes us as containing the gist of the whole matter. This is the remark that the greatest obstacle in the way of tenementhouse reform is the New York unit of space-the 25 by 100 foot lot. That is what we have been maintaining and what all tenement-house

reformers find. The Street Commissioners of 1807 did a great deal of mischief. One of the worst things they did was to create by their dispositions this unit of space. The result is that a tenement house on a

single lot has become the prevailing

form of real estate investment. The plain fact is that any tenement-house reformer who confines himself to inquiring how tolerable can be made. the condition of the members of four families on a floor in a tenement house on a single "inside lot" is, indeed, wasting his time. It can not be made tolerable. It is necessary to refuse to recognize the city lot and the tenement-house plan and the customary real estate investment as laws of nature or as anything but the results of human thoughtlessness. If it were ordained that henceforth no tenement should be built on less than two lots, the investors and the tenement-house builders would soon reconcile themselves to that condition. But to truckle to their prejudices and to pretend that the impossible feat

can be performed is to preclude any possibility of real tenement-house reform.

THE LONDON "HOSPITAL ON VISIONARIES.

The New York State Legislature has recently passed a tenement-house commission bill which is exciting a good deal of comment. The City Commissioner of Buildings, Mr. Thomas J. Brady, strongly objects. to the appointment of the commission. A committee of the Charity Organization Society has been inquiring into the housing of the poor in New York city of late, and Mr. Brady does not like them and thinks this commission will prove another of the same sort. "I regard that committee," he says, 66 as a sort of committee of self-appointed busy. bodies who undertake to lay down. certain rules which should be followed by philanthropic persons, and who attempt to tell charitable millionaires how they ought to spend their money. These committee men are not practical. They are They are not builders. They are not investors. They are visionary theorists." A great many persons on this side of the Atlantic are of Mr. Brady's opinion. Yet it may be doubted if it is not they themselves who are the visionaries and the theorists. They see-in a vision, for they will never see it elsewhere-a happy land, where a nation is great and strong and progressive, although its workers live unhealthy and stunted lives. in overcrowded homes. They are visionaries, who believe you can have anemic men and consumptive. women and yet have no paupers to maintain. They are visionaries who believe that a nation can compete with its neighbors in trade and industry with workers who live under conditions that make perfect health. impossible. That is Mr. Brady's vision. Perhaps the New York

State Legislature, taking a larger view, think otherwise. Certainly the charitable millionaires who spend their superfluous money in providing good homes for their workers will never be the less millionaires for that. Good conditions of work, of which good housing is not the least, help to make good workers and certainly help to keep them when they have been found.-Hospital, London.

the

The report of the Local Government Board with reference to pauper. ism in England and Wales shows a decrease of pauperism in every poor law division of England and Wales, except in London. The least satisfactory figures in report are those relating to children. The number of pauper chil dren under the age of 16, including insane, was 208,285, considerably more than one fourth of the total. Of these about 50,000 were in workhouses, infirmaries, and schools of various description, the remainder being in receipt of outdoor relief. Only 7,358 children, or about one in twenty-nine, were boarded out in respectable homes.

Classified Advertisements. Advertisements under this head, two lines or more without display, 5 cents a line.

THE

HE CHARITY ORGANIZATION SOCIETY renews its appeals for $70 with which to pay the expenses back to Syria of a young Armenian widow with one child. She has been in the country for the past six years and was able to support herself by work until a year ago when she took sick and has since been practically laid as:de. She has assurances from her relatives in Syria that she will be cared for by them, and she is very anxious to o back. It is desirable to send her off at an early date, so the society hopes that the public response will be prompt.

For $60 to provide shelter for an old woman, whom age and illness have incapacitated from work, but who until recently supported herself. She has no relatives able to help her."

Any money for these cases sent to the Charity Organization Society 105 East zzd Street, will be duly and publicly acknowledged.

The society acknowledges the following additional contributions received in response to its appeal for two aged women: "C. A. V.." A. M. S.,' and Charles H. Marshall, $5 each; "V. and A.," $3; "F. G. D." $1.

CHARITIES

THE OFFICIAL ORGAN OF

THE CHARITY ORGANIZATION SOCIETY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE NEW YORK, N. Y., POST-office.

Issued every Saturday. Five cents a copy. Subscription price, one dollar a year, in advance. Three dollars a hundred.

ADVERTISING RATES.

Classified advertisements, 5 cents a line, eight words to the line, agate measure. Display, 5 cents a line, 14 lines to the inch. Full page, 200 agate lines, $10. Half page, 100 agate lines, $5 Quarter page, 50 agate lines, $2.50. Special position, twenty-five per cent additional.

EDWARD T. DEVINE, Editor.

PUBLICATION OFFICE:
105 East 22d Street.

NEW YORK, JUNE 30, 1900.

The newspapers gave considerable space last week to a story of the sale, for $100, of a baby for whom the destitute mother was unable to care. Later accounts raise doubt as to the legality of the transaction and as to whether the amount of money obtained by the mother was really $100 or only $1. Waiving both points as of comparatively little importance, except as affecting the news quality of the incident, the thoughtful observer will notice that the transaction is more typical than it is agreeable to contemplate. It is not often that parents undertake to give a bill of sale, or that money is paid to the parent who relinquishes all interest in the child; but a transfer of such interest without compensation, or oftentimes with actual pay. ment on the part of the mother, is unfortunately not unknown.

There is still living in New York city an enterprising adventuress

who, after having demonstrated her own entire unfitness to care for her offspring so that they were removed from her by order of the court, has nevertheless done something of a business as intermediary between destitute mothers and institutions for children. Her plan is to convince the parents by the exercise of her ingenious arts that she has such relations with the institutions and with the city authorities as will insure the commitment of any children whom she brings to their notice. Her fee for such service varies, but would apparently average about $15 per capita. This sum is collected from the parents of the child or from benevolent individuals to whom the woman makes personal appeals, or not improbably sometimes even from both sources in succession. In some instances the institutions have received the children as nephews or nieces of the intermediary, in some instances merely as destitute children in whom she is supposed to be interested.

The name of this extraordinary woman is Eleanora Dels, although she appears also under the name of Del Drago, Del Vasto, Stein, and Doltz, and with these various names in every conceivable combination. She has been herself committed at one time for two years to a public institution, known as the state prison; and many interesting details of her personal career are known to the Society for the Prevention of Vice, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Department of Public Charities, the State

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »