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A City for ChildrenWomen, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850-1950$
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Marta Gutman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226311289

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226156156.001.0001

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The Ladies Intervene:

The Ladies Intervene:

Repurposed and Purpose-Built in Temescal

Chapter:
(p.71) Three The Ladies Intervene
Source:
A City for Children
Author(s):

Marta Gutman

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226156156.003.0003

As the transcontinental railroad transformed Oakland, white Protestant women seceded from the Oakland Benevolent Society to incorporate the single-sex charity, the Ladies’ Relief Society of Oakland, California. Inspired by the relief effort in Chicago, after the 1871 fire, and their sense of Christian duty, women pressed the charitable public for funds to construct an asylum for elderly women and indigent children, but could only afford to renovate a farmhouse at the urban outskirts. The concept, of dominated and appropriated space, is introduced and used to analyze the repurposed Children’s Home, full of immigrant boys and girls, and the purpose-built Home for Aged Women, added to this node in 1882, restricted to white Protestant women. Changing attitudes toward childhood, charity, race, and architecture are located in the economic and political crises of the 1870s and 1880s, which led to the Workingman’s Party of California and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Keywords:   transcontinental railroad, Ladies’ Relief Society of Oakland, California, charitable public, dominated and appropriated space, immigrant, Children’s Home, Home for Aged Women, Protestant, Workingman’s Party of California, Chinese Exclusion Act

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