The Kingsley Association

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Visionary Beginnings: HISTORY OF LEADERSHIP

Answering the Call. Setting the Foundation. Building a Legacy.

The Kingsley Association was first named Kingsley House, a settlement house founded in 1893 by Dr. George Hodges. As a result of the industrial revolution, immigrant workers bound to the mills and factories found themselves poor and in tremendous need. These conditions precipitated a movement of human service and social reform lead by privileged university graduates. Thus, the turn of the 20th Century saw the founding of the settlement house movement.

Leaders of the reform movement, living in the community, organized social, educational, and recreational programs. These individuals believed that partnership with the community as an equal participant, sharing its issues and concerns, would bring solutions to the new problems of urban life.

The doors of Kingsley House opened Christmas Day , 1893 to immigrant laborers in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

The Kingsley House was named for Christian Socialist and Oxford University student Charles Kingsley who is credited along with Frederick Dennison Maurice with founding the settlement house movement in East End London.

The Kingsley House was host to an abundance of cultural, educational, and social programming such as, boy's and girl's clubs, literary societies, lectures, concerts, kindergarten, and science and reading classes. The House was so successful, that in 1900 it became necessary to expand. It was then that H.C. Frick gifted the Montooth Mansion at Bedford and Fullerton, in Pittsburgh's Hill District, to the Kingsley House Association. Shortly afterward, Charles Taylor, Kingsley House Association board member, purchased sixty-five acres of farmland in Valencia, Pennsylvania to be used as a fresh-air farm for Kingsley's neighbors. Taylor's Valencia estate deeded to the Kingsley House Association in 1907 is now the Lillian Taylor Camp, which still serves Pittsburgh youth today.

Growth continued, and in 1917 the Kingsley House Association became the Kingsley Association. In the winter of 1923 Kingsley moved to Larimer Avenue in East Liberty, and has been located in the East End ever since. Today, we still provide residents with quality programming for families and youth, carrying on the long tradition of human service and social reform.

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