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A Small House with a Big Story

The Henry Street Settlement presents The House on Henry Street exhibit in our headquarters at 265 Henry Street. This permanent interactive exhibition illuminates themes of social activism, urban poverty, and public health from the organization’s founding in 1893 to the present. We are happy to welcome back small group tours by appointment only. The National Endowment for the Humanities–funded exhibition takes visitors through the history of the Settlement, known for its pioneering efforts in social service, health care, and the arts. Featuring voices and images from the Lower East Side, it illustrates waves of immigration to New York and the challenges newcomers faced amid rapid industrialization and urban crowding.

An online exhibition and timeline, launched in conjunction with  the exhibition, provides a captivating virtual tour.  In six chapters, visitors explore the Settlement’s early years, as sweeping change and rising poverty give birth to a new breed of social reformers—and move a young nurse to act. A neighborhood walking tour app connects the past to the present on the Lower East Side

Click above or here to watch Baptism of Fire.

The House on Henry Street traces the history of the neighborhood and the Settlement across six distinct eras:

  • Arrival in America: Immigration skyrockets
  • The Problems They Faced: Conditions create immense challenges for new immigrants
  • Problems Lead to Action: Lillian Wald takes action from City Hall to the White House
  • Action Spreads: The growth of public health nursing
  • Come to the Table: Neighbors and world leaders exchange ideas at Henry Street
  • The Legacy: Taking action continues today at Henry Street

Visit the online exhibition at now.

To arrange a tour, please email Katie Vogel.

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