The Chicago Nursery and Half Orphan Asylum (Chapin Hall for Children) had its beginnings in "The Sands",now Michigan Avenue. It was there that three women established a home for the children of desperate young mothers who suddenly found themselves widowed and without funds. The year was 1860. The mothers were charged five cents a day. All they could afford to pay from their meager salaries of three or four dollars a week.
During the Civil War the Nursery changed its program of day-nursery service for working mothers to a round-the-clock resident care program for children. In 1811, following the Great Chicago Fire, the children were moved to Burling Street.
In 1911, acreage at the corner of Foster and California Streets was bought and the main building and one cottage were built in 1916. A second cottage was erected in 1931. A bequest from the estate of Charles A. Chapin was used for the completion of the main building with the agreement that it be called Chapin Hall in his honor.
In 1964, Chapin Hall merged with Ridge Fann, a children's home, in Lake Forest and their children were brought here. The Ridge Farm cottage was completed in 1966.
Chapin Hall for Children islicensed by the State of Illinois to care for sixty children- thirty girls and thirty boys.