Children's lodging houses in general.There existed, in 1899, a number of lodging houses (in Manhattan and other cities across the U.S.) at which newsboys stayed, but the largest and most well-known of these was the Duane Street Lodging House, also known as The Newsboys' Lodging House, or the Brace Memorial Lodging House. Like the other lodging houses set up by the Children's Aid Society, it was a sort of "hotel" set up for boys who would otherwise have had no place to sleep. For a small fee, and if they agreed to a set of simple rules, they could get food, schooling, and a place to spend the night.
Where was it located?The Duane Street Lodging House stood on the east side of William Street, between Duane and New Chambers Streets. It was the closest of the Lodging Houses to Newspaper Row.
The official address was 9 Duane Street, Manhattan, New York.
Because it stood at the intersection of 3 streets, the address was also given (mostly in later years) as 14 New Chambers St. and (even later) 244 Williams St.
The intersection no longer exists today, as the streets themselves have been changed. It is roughly where the present-day New York City Police Department HQ stands.
When did it open its doors?March 26, 1874. It replaced the earlier (smaller) LH at 49 and 51 Park Place.
Who ran it?The lodging houses were run by the Children's Aid Society, a benevolent organization founded by Rev. Charles L. Brace in 1853. Sometime between Feb. 13, 1891 and Jan. 7, 1892, the DSLH was renamed "Brace Memorial Lodging House" in his honor, though it was still often referred to by its earlier names. When the Coast Guard took over the building, they called it "Brace Barracks."
In addition to the lodging houses, the CAS also ran numerous other places for children in need, including the Health Home, Italian School, and the Farm School at Kensico.
See also: Children's Aid Society.
How much did it cost to build?An article in the Sep 26, 1873 issue of the New York Times estimated that the DSLH, then already under construction, would cost $205,000 to build.
What about the other lodging houses?The CAS ran a total of five boys' lodging houses and one girls' lodging house in Manhattan in 1899.
Besides the DSLH, the other boys' houses were...
The Tompkins Sq. LH
The Forty-fourth St. Boys' LH
The Fogg LH
The West Side Boys' LH.
Only the DSLH was commonly referred to as "The Newsboys' LH," although newsboys undoubtedly stayed at the other LHs as well.
For more info, see the Other Lodging Houses page.
The LH on Great Jones St.The CAS was not the only organization to have lodging houses for newsboys in Manhattan. The Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, a ten-story building that stood at the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Streets, also contained a lodging house and school for newsboys. It was established by Fr. John C. Drumgoole, who had opened a newsboys' LH, the St. Vincent's Home, at 53 Warren St. in 1870. When that place became too small (it could accommodate only 100 boys), the new place on Great Jones St. was opened in Dec. 1881.
The accommodation for the boys in their sleeping, dining and other halls are such as one rarely sees in high-class schools, where the children of the rich receive their education.
Among the lodgers at the [Great Jones St. LH] there are quite a number of newsboys, but these are altogether of the better and more provident class in that calling, for boys here cannot come and go at will, as they do at the other lodging houses. They must be permanent, and that, with other restrictions does not always suit the liberty-loving spirit personality [of the newsboy]...
Kathleen Mathew, "New York Newsboys," Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Apr. 1895
The Mission stayed in operation there until about 1919. In 1929 the building was demolished to make way for a gas station owned by the Sobol Brothers chain.
Fr. Drumgoole also established a country place for his children's mission in 1883, called Mt. Loretto, on Staten Island. Today, Drumgoole Park, next to Pace University, is named in his honor.