overview

Many New York City public schools are named in honor of prominent figures in American and world history.

Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship, in Manhattan, inadvertently honors an LGBT individual.

Header Photo
Credit: Google Maps.

History

Many New York City public schools are named in honor of prominent figures in American and world history. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project compiled a list of the 25 public schools named after gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, although only one — Harvey Milk High School — intentionally honors an LGBT individual. This list includes Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship, in Manhattan.

Alain LeRoy Locke (1885-1954), known as the “Dean” of the Harlem Renaissance, which promoted Black art and culture, became the first African American to be selected as a Rhodes scholar, in 1907. Though largely based in Washington, D.C., as a professor of 41 years at Howard University, he often visited Harlem. In 1925, Locke authored the pioneering book The New Negro. He was a mentor to many figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including poets Countee Cullen, who credited Locke with helping him embrace his homosexuality, and Langton Hughes.

Sites on this website associated with Locke include the Hotel Olga and Gumby Book Studio, in Harlem.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Katz, Waisman, Weber, Strauss, Joseph Blumenkranz
  • Year Built: 1965

Sources

  1. Eric K. Washington, “”Hotel Olga: Race Retreat of the Harlem Renaissance,” Examiner, July 20, 2013.

  2. Eric K. Washington, “Selected Notable Residents and Affiliations of the former Hotel Olga, Race Retreat of the Harlem Renaissance,” survey, 2014-2019.

  3. Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

  4. Tagging-the-Past, “Hotel Olga: Race Retreat of the Harlem Renaissance,” Soundcloud, 2014, bit.ly/2WnAllZ.

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Curated Themes

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

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135th Street Branch, New York Public Library
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1890 Seventh Avenue
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