LINK:  University of Chicago Magazine
About the Magazine | Advertising | Archives | Contact
LINK:  June 2005LINK:  featuresLINK:  chicago journalLINK:  investigationsLINK:  peer reviewLINK:  in every issue

:: By Meredith Meyer, ’06

:: Photo courtesy Special Collections Research Center

link:  e-mail this to a friend

Peer Review ::

Photographic Memory

Guerilla child care

In 1916 a group of Hyde Park mothers, eager to contribute to wartime efforts, established an informal day care so that they could take turns doing war work. Their organization found a home for the duration of the war, and beyond, on 58th and Lexington (now University Avenue) in the Lexington Gymnasium, the female gym. When the University became pressed for space in 1923, the women held a fund-raising drive to purchase a three-story house at 5750 Woodlawn Avenue, sharing their new location with the Department of Home Economics and Household Administration. The organization was incorporated as the University Cooperative Nursery School, a name that stuck until 1938, when the University took it over and rechristened it the University of Chicago Nursery School. Mothers were replaced by child-care professionals, who looked after kids like the one pictured above, awake during nap time. The nursery school was annexed by the University’s Laboratory Schools in 1955, joining the existing elementary and high-school divisions.

photo:  photographic memory