593 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024, United States, New York, New York 10024
Goddard Riverside was formed in 1959 when two historic settlement houses merged: Riverside Community House, founded in 1887, and Goddard Neighborhood Center, founded in 1892. The agency’s roots extend back to the beginning of the settlement house movement in the late 19th century. In 1884 the opening of the first settlement house, London’s Toynbee Hall, marked a watershed in the history of social services. It launched a new model of social work in which workers “settled” in poor urban areas to understand their needs firsthand and to develop neighborhood-based services that would help them make the changes they wanted in their lives. Before merging, both houses had rich records of service to New York City. Goddard Neighborhood Center had been located in the East 30s, in the area now occupied by NYU Langone Medical Center. Riverside Community House served the lower southern portion of the Upper West Side, in the Lincoln Center area. When Goddard Riverside’s two parent agencies merged, they moved to the heart of the West Side Urban Renewal Area, the largest urban renewal area in the country, consisting of 20 square blocks from West 87th Street to West 97th Street and from Central Park West to Amsterdam Avenue. In addition to starting a number of the programs and services still in operation today, the center became deeply involved in the issues of affordable housing that were central to the urban renewal process.