overview

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

Eleanor Roosevelt Junior High School 143, in Manhattan, inadvertently honors an LGBT individual.

Header Photo
Credit: Wikimedia Commons, 2014.

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 Eleanor Roosevelt Junior High School 143, in Manhattan.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was the longest-serving First Lady, having presided in the White House between 1933 and 1945. She took an active role in politics and refused to accept the traditional role assigned to previous first ladies. She had many lesbian friends, and initially established residency in Greenwich Village after her husband was elected president in 1933. This was the same year she began a long-term lesbian relationship with journalist Lorena Hickok. In 1945, President Truman appointed Roosevelt as the first United States Delegate to the United Nations, where she helped lead the effort to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which passed in 1948.

Sites on this website associated with Roosevelt include her residence off Washington Square Park and Lorena Hickok’s residence in midtown Manhattan.

Entry by Jay Shockley, project director (February 2021).

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Lester C. Tichy
  • Year Built: 1962-65

Sources

  1. “1908 Roosevelt Houses,” Daytonian in Manhattan blog, April 6, 2011, bit.ly/2dXJHR2.

  2. Blanche Weisen Cook, Eleanor Roosevelt, 2 vols. (New York: Viking, 1992).

  3. Lillian Faderman, To Believe in Women (‪Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999).

  4. “Roosevelts Rent Apartment Here,” The New York Times, March 28, 1942.

  5. “Questions and Answers About Eleanor Roosevelt,” The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, The George Washington University, n.d., bit.ly/2dQlZFW.

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Curated Themes

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

St. Nicholas Park
James Baldwin Lawn
Public Spaces
Hamilton Place & West 141st Street
Alexander Hamilton Playground
Public Spaces