Florence Scala betrayal

FLORENCE SCALA NEWSCAST Betrayal by which mob: The Hull House mob… the First Ward mob…the Daley mob.


Betrayal by which mob: The Hull House mob… the First Ward mob…the Daley mob.

On August 28, 2007, Florence Scala, Chicago’s legendary Taylor Street activist, died. Upon the passing of Florence Scala, Derrick Blakely of TVs CBS 2 News, reported: 

She was fearless! She spoke for a neighborhood that she believed did not have to die. She spoke for the people! Who she was most hurt by were what she called the good people, the board of directors of Hull House, the Hull House mob, which encouraged Daley to go ahead and destroy the neighborhood. She thought they were the ones that really betrayed the people of the neighborhood.” 

There is an inherited and primal repugnancy for those who “devour their young.” Florence Scala most assuredly harbored that repugnancy throughout her remaining years. 


That betrayal by Hull House of the “thriving, vibrant, tight knit neighborhood” that Florence Scala believed “didn’t have to die,” took place over one-half century ago. Why the Hull House neighborhood and not the vacated and easily accessible Dearborn Station? If 75% of the $400,000 allocated for each residential block found its way into the pockets of recent purchasers of vacant lots on the designated blocks, as alleged, an incredible amount of money, as witnessed by the estates of those who had passed on, found its way into the pockets of the mob. The unexplored and unanswered question is which mob? Was it the First Ward mob, the Daley mob, or the Hull House mob? Florence Scala points her finger at the Hull House mob.

The legendary Taylor Street’s Little Italy, the place Jane Addams referred to as “The Hull House Neighborhood,” served as the laboratory for those theorists who had pledged to fight for the rights of those who were too weak, too unsophisticated, and too unconnected to fight for themselves. I suspect that the Hull House board members Florence Scala points to, as betrayers of the community trust, had either political pledges to repay or political positioning opportunities that were too rewarding to pass up. 




Seething within the psyche of the collective conscience of Taylor Street’s Little Italy are other, equally devastating, betrayals on the part of the Hull House dynasty and the current guardians of the Hull House Museum, the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). 

Fact:  We, Taylor Street’s Little Italy, were the laboratory upon which Jane Addams tested her theories and present to the establishment on our behalf.   

Fact: The existence of the Hull House museum rests in its mission statement which clearly stipulates that the Museum is to preserve the legacy of the Jane Addams’ Hull House and the neighborhood it served. The Director of the Museum, is falsely claiming, for public consumption,  that the Italians were simply one of twenty-four ethnic neighborhoods that Hull House served, 

Fact: Jane Addams personal hand-written description (circa 1895) of the Italian American component of what came to be known in sociological and political circles as “The Hull House Neighborhood,” states, “Italians comprised the inner core of the neighborhood: — from the river on the east to Halsted Street on the west. Germans and Jews resided south of that inner core (south of twelfth street) …The Greek delta formed by Harrison, Halsted and Blue Island Streets served as a buffer to the Irish residing to the north and the Canadian-French to the northwest.” Hence, what had come to be known as the legendary Taylor Street, the inner core of The Hull House Neighborhood, was, as far back as the turn of that century, wall-to-wall Italians.

Fact: The residents of Greek Town and Jew Town (Maxwell Street) evaporated during the early part of the 20th century. Only their businesses, on the outer fringes of The Hull House Neighborhood, remained as a token reminder of their former presence.

Fact: As early as 1924, Wallace K. Kirkland of Hull House betrayed the Italian constituency of The Hull House Neighborhood by describing the subjects in his classic photograph, “Meet the Hull House Kids,” as being of Irish ancestry. It was not until 1987 (almost 6 decades removed) that a vigilant Sun-Times investigative reporter uncovered that betrayal. All twenty boys were identified as first generation Italian Americans…all with vowels at the ends of their names. “They grew up to be lawyers and mechanics, sewer workers and dump truck drivers, a candy shop owner, a boxer, and a mob boss.” 

Fact: Lisa Yun Lee, Director of the JAHHM, choose, during her tenure, to knowingly perpetuate the fallacy that Wallace Kirkland’s classic photograph accurately portrayed the Hull House Kids as being of Irish ethnicity. 


• Another, equally serious, betrayal occurred when the UIC, the new Hull House mob, became custodians of the Hull House Museum (HHM) in 1963. The first director of the Museum, assigned by the Chancellor with the approval of the Trustees, refused even the courtesy of a response to inquiries made on behalf of the community to make scholars, students, and historians referencing the Hull House and Bowen Country Club websites, aware of companion links to what Jane Addams herself had labeled, “The Hull House Neighborhood”…the heart of which was Taylor Street’s Little Italy.

• Fast forward to 2006 and a newly appointed director of the Hull House Museum, Lisa Yun Lee, in response to pressure from the remnants of the community, proclaims, “Taylor Street Archives is an amazing resource that should be a part of any story we need to tell about the history of this place…” 

Shortly afterward, in a published interview in the Spring 2007 issue of the UIC College of Architecture, Lisa Lee is quoted, “It’s important that we don’t have a narrow vision of ownership over history or who gets to tell the story, but realize it is a collective story to be told.” Suggesting, once again, that history should include the story of those who lived it. 

Lisa Yun Lee, despite her public proclamations, refused to include in the references and bibliographies of Hull House and Jane Addams, the writings of those who lived the history of the Hull House legacy. Her agenda appeared to focus on Jane Addams’ sexual orientation and the current politically correct mantra being promoted by the influential left.  

The refusal of Lisa Lee, the HHM director, to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship that existed between Jane Addams, Hull House, and Little Italy–the neighborhood it served—was designed to purge Taylor Street’s Little Italy from the history of Jane Addams’ Hull House and be replaced by a newly fabricated legacy of Jane Addams and Hull House.  To be supplanted by Jane Addams sexual orientation and the left’s political agenda.  It appears her mission statement shift was  designed to promote her career ambitions in a politically correct world denouncing white privilege and promoting the politically correct agenda favored by the influential left.  

• Florence Scala would characterize the Lisa Lees and the Hull House Museum keepers as yet another mob intent on depriving the neighborhood of its true place in the history of Hull House and the legacy of Jane Addams. The roots of the Italian American community are steeped in Taylor Street’s Little Italy. This neighborhood was the port-of-call for the overwhelming majority of our immigrant parents. We  served as the laboratory for the Hull House experiment. 

“…and it came to pass that, for those who follow us, it was as if we never were here.”