An LGBT Place to Visit
The Alice Austen House, also known as Clear Comfort is located at 2 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, New York City, New York. It was the home of Alice Austen born March 17, 1866. For over 40 years she photographed the daily life of the people of New York producing about 8,000 photographs.
In 1899 Alice met Gertrude Amelia Tate (1871-1962). Gertrude was a kindergarten teacher and dancing instructor in Brooklyn, New York. She became Alice’s lifelong companion. The couple spent holidays together in Europe and in 1917, Gertrude moved in with Alice at Clear Comfort, overriding her family’s objection over her “wrong devotion” to Alice.
The house Alice lived in was originally built in the 1690s or early 1700s as a one-room Dutch Colonial House. The house was remodeled and expanded several times in the 1800s. John Taggerty Austen, Alice’s grandfather, purchased the house and remodeled it in 1844. He also renamed the house and called it Clear Comfort.
In 1970, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places and became a New York City Landmark in 1971. New York City purchased the house in 1975 and opened it to the public. In 1993 it became a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, it became a Historic Home and Studio. About 300 photographs by Alice are on display.
The Alice Austen House hosts school programs, including photography summer camps and day trips for classes of all age groups.
I hope to visit this landmark myself someday. Love the history.