overview

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

Alice Austen Public School 60, on Staten Island, 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 Alice Austen Public School 60, on Staten Island.

Pioneering female photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952) grew up in her family’s home “Clear Comfort” on Staten Island. She later lived there with schoolteacher Gertrude Tate, her partner of 53 years. Austen’s work of the late 19th and early 20th centuries includes early images that challenged gender roles, such as women embracing and dressed in male drag, which have since become iconic to the LGBT community.

Sites on this website associated with Austen include Clear Comfort.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: unknown
  • Year Built: 1974

Sources

  1. Alice Austen file, Lesbian Herstory Archives.

  2. Ann Novotny, Alice’s World: The Life and Photography of an American Original, Alice Austen, 1866-1952 (Old Greenwich: The Chatham Press, 1976).

  3. C. Jane Gover, The Positive Image: Women Photographers in Turn of the Century America (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988).

  4. “Her Life,” Alice Austen House website, bit.ly/2nmLUsu.

  5. Lillian Faderman and Phyllis Irwin, “Alice Austen and Gertrude Tate: A Boston Marriage on Staten Island,” Historic House Trust New York City, 5 no. 4 (Fall 2010), p. 7.

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Curated Themes

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

715 Ocean Terrace
Staten Island Community College
Cultural & Educational Institutions
25 Hyatt Street
Staten Island AIDS Task Force & EAGLE Headquarters
Organization & Community Spaces
2 Hylan Boulevard
Alice Austen Park
Public Spaces