View of Front of Hall, Seventeenth Street Mission


Union PSem_Seventeenth St Mission 040 front rsz.jpg
Union PSem_Seventeenth St Mission 041 back rsz.jpg


View of Front of Hall, Seventeenth Street Mission


Photograph showing Scripture and hymn charts, organ, four sewing machines. A "screen for pictures" (projected images) is visible behind the center chart.

Text on reverse: 

"View of front of hall toward street. 
We usuall[y] have stereoptican views, but had parable of Good Samariton in moving pictures 

3/1/14  - 3:30 PM"

Note: A stereopticon is a slide projector or magic lantern, which has two lenses, usually one above the other. 

In 1911, students from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Later, Union Presbyterian Seminary) started an urban ministry outreach program in the most impoverished neighborhood of Richmond, VA. The Seventeenth Street Mission functioned as a settlement house, offering laundry facilities and showers, meals, a clothing closet, classes in sewing, carpentry and other skills. 

The Sunday School program focused on the memorization of Bible verses, catechisms and the Lord's Prayer. In 1914, students from the General Assembly's Training School (later, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education) joined in as teachers and volunteers, and the effort became largely staffed by women.


Seventeenth Street Mission Collection, Special Collections, William Smith Morton Library, Union Presbyterian Seminary


1914 March 14


Union Presbyterian Seminary Library


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“View of Front of Hall, Seventeenth Street Mission,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed May 27, 2024,