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In 1895, Dr. John Lovejoy Elliott, a young man inspired by the growing settlement house movement, moved to the tough, working-class neighborhood of Chelsea. There, he met and encouraged a group of young, rowdy boys to take their fighting off the streets and organize into a boxing club called the “Hurly Burlies.” Over the next few years, Dr. Elliott established numerous programs for boys and girls, working women, and families. These groups merged in 1897 to become Hudson Guild, which provided a platform for neighbors to organize and improve living conditions.
Dr. John Lovejoy Elliott rented a room in Chelsea— then a tough, working-class neighborhood—and began his lifelong experiment with “neighborliness.”
In the next few years, Dr. Elliott established numerous clubs and programs for boys and girls, working women, and families.
New York City’s first kindergarten, vocational training, athletics, and a library were established by a growing staff of volunteers.
These disparate programs merged in 1897 to become Hudson Guild.
He encouraged a small group of rowdy local boys to form a boxing club, titled the “Hurly Burlies,” under his leadership.
The popularity of Hudson Guild programs prompted the settlement to move several times in its first decade. Eventually a permanent Hudson Guild building was erected at 436 West 27th Street. Its five stories housed a library, print shop, club rooms, and baths.
- John Lovejoy Elliott.