Goodrich House

The Goodrich House was erected in 1897 and was founded by Flora Stone Mather. Mrs. Mather can be described as a pious women who was influenced by the establishment of other settlement houses in Cleveland, most notably the Hiram House. She named the organization out of loyalty to her pastor at Old Stone Church, William H. Goodrich, who was one of most influential religious leaders in the United Sates during the late nineteenth century. The first location of the Goodrich House was in downtown Cleveland on East 6th and St. Clair Avenue. Within two years of its opening it had summer camps and education classes in a variety of subjects. The Goodrich House organized street clubs while also providing classes and workshops for cooking and sewing. One of the Goodrich House's most famous alumni is Newton C. Baker who became the 37th mayor of Cleveland from 1912 to 1915 and the U.S. Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921.

As the reputation of the Goodrich House increased, it used programs to promote unity and break down barriers of mistrust between immigrants from countries such as Italy, Ireland and Poland. For example, in 1918 it hosted an "All Nations Pageant" to ease tensions among immigrant ethnic groups who often wrestled over employment and housing privileges.

The Goodrich House always emphasized its connection with the inhabitants of the community and developed programs to serve its needs. The settlement created a newsletter for soldiers during World War II and offered a day nursery for children who resided in downtown hotels. In fact, it can be stated that Settlement Houses served a vital role in assisting Cleveland's poor during times of malcontent. The Goodrich House formed soup kitchens for those whose families where unable to cook during the flu epidemic of 1918-1919. In a 1950s pamphlet the Goodrich House defined itself as, "A social settlement, helping people in the neighborhood 'realize'" that what is good for one family is good for everyone.

In 1963, Goodrich House was renamed Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, honoring both Reverend Goodrich of the Old Stone Church and Alice Gannett, a long time head worker at the settlement house. The name change of the organization coincided with the purchase of the old library building it was then occupying at 1368 East 55th Street. Today, the Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, now located just down the street in a new facility at 1400 East 55th Street, offers after-school programs for children, cooking and photography for young adults and inter-generational activities that forge relationships between the youth and elderly.

Images

At the Loom This photo shows a mother and daughter using a weaving loom in the Goodrich House. The date of the photo is unknown, but it is assumed to have been taken during the first ten years of the twentieth century. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Moving eastward. In 1957, Goodrich House moved from its location on East 31st Street to this building on the southeast corner of East 55th Street and St. Clair Avenue. It would remain at this location for most of the period from 1957 until about 2012 when it moved to its current location just down the street at 1400 East 55th Street. Source: Cleveland Public Library, Photograph Collection
Goodrich House in 1959 After moving from downtown Cleveland, the organization settled at several east side locations, including, for a time, at this former telephone company building located at 1839 East 81st Street. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Dance Lessons The Goodrich House used programs to promote unity and break down barriers of mistrust between different immigrants groups and racial groups. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Integrated After-School Programs This 1942 photograph shows an after-school program provided by the Goodrich House. By the time this photo was taken there was an increase in the African American population within Cleveland. In time, the Goodrich House had staff members of all races and promoted interracial activities. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Learning Skills One of the ways in which The Goodrich House made a positive influence in the community was through the use of mentors. This photo was taken in 1951, when The Goodrich House offered services that encouraged young adults to become interested in learning skills and trades. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Alice Gannett Alice Gannett (on the left) is seen making crafts a for children's play. Because of her dedication to The Goodrich House, it was later renamed in her honor. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Adapting to Changing Demographics Between 1980 and 1990, the Asian community grew by 63 percent in the Goodrich neighborhood while the white population decreased by 36 percent. The Goodrich House has always adapted to the demographics of the community it serves. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections

Location

1368 E 55th St, Cleveland, OH 44103

Metadata

Sule Holder, “Goodrich House,” Cleveland Historical, accessed November 29, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/386.