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INAUGURAL ADDRESS 4S
I have spoken thus in order that you may understand the-
great significance, the real beauty, of this humble room, which
seems like a bit of the house itself set apart by a mother's hand
for the use and happiness of the children of the Quarter. This is-
the second " Children's House " which has been established within
the ill-favoured Quarter of San Lorenzo.
The Quarter of San Lorenzo is celebrated, for every news-
paper in the city is filled with almost daily accounts of its wretched
happenings. Yet there are many who are not familiar with the
origin of this portion of our city.
It was never intended to build up here a tenement district for
the people. And indeed San Lorenzo is not the People's Quarter,
it is the Quarter of the poor. It is the Quarter where lives the
underpaid, often unemployed, working-man, a common type in a.
city which has no factory industries. It is the home of him who
undergoes the period of surveillance to which he is condemned
after his prison sentence is ended. They are all here, mingled,,
The district of San Lorenzo sprang into being between 1884
and 1888 at the time of the great building fever. No standards,,
either social or hygienic, guided these new constructions. The aim
in building was simply to cover with walls square foot after square
foot of ground. The more the space covered, the greater the gain
of the interested Banks and Companies. All this with a complete
disregard of the disastrous future which they were preparing. It
was natural that no one should concern himself with the stability
of the building he was creating, since in no case would the property
remain in the possession of him who built it.
When the storm burst, in the shape of the inevitable building,
panic of 1888 to 1890, these unfortunate houses remained for a
long time untenanted. Then, little by little, the need of dwelling-
places began to make itself felt, and these great houses began to
fill. Now, those speculators who had been so unfortunate as to
remain possessors of these buildings could not and did not wish
to add fresh capital to that already lost. So the houses constructed.