Jane Addams Hull House Museum
Award Type: Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites
In 1889, Jane Addams founded Hull House in Chicago as a place where people from different backgrounds could share knowledge and learn from one another. Today, the Jane Addams Hull House is carrying on that tradition through inventive programming and careful stewardship that honors the site’s past while connecting it to the present.
The site invites visitors to engage with exhibits in unexpected ways, including a "Sounds Like History" room that offers sonic landscapes of Hull-House at the turn of the twentieth century. The Jane Addams Hull House excels at engaging with the community, as evidenced by its “Re-Thinking Soup” program. Once a week, the Museum hosts a modern day soup kitchen, a public and communal event held in the historic Residents’ Dining Hall—the very room in which Upton Sinclair, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Gertrude Stein, and other prominent social reformers once met to share meals and ideas. Today, that tradition continues as activists, farmers, doctors, economists, artists, and guest chefs come together each week to present their ideas, share projects, and foster a space to forward solutions.
“With its one-of-a-kind programming, thoughtful site management, and dedication to community outreach, the Jane Addams Hull House is continuing the dynamic traditions of its founder and namesake,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As a neighborhood anchor that continues to give back to the community, the Jane Addams Hull House is a poster child for successfully keeping historic buildings in active use.”