overview

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

Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers, in the Bronx, inadvertently honors an LGBT individual.

Header Photo
Credit: New York Daily News.

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 Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers, in the Bronx.

Progressive social reformer and activist Jane Addams (1860-1935) was a leader of the American settlement house movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1889, she co-founded Hull House, the first settlement house in the United States, in Chicago’s poor, industrial west side. Settlement houses were established to provide educational, recreational, artistic, health, and support social services to urban poor and immigrant communities. Hull House also addressed such complex issues as child labor, public health reform, labor laws, and race relations. Addams became internationally respected for her peace activism and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the first American woman to receive this honor. She had at least two long-term same-sex relationships – one of which, with Mary Rozet Smith, lasted 40 years.

This building was planned as the Bronx Industrial High School for Girls, and constructed with funds from the Public Works Administration during the New Deal of the 1930s. When it opened, it was named in honor of Addams, who had passed away recently in 1935.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Walter C. Martin
  • Year Built: 1936-37

Sources

  1. Debra Michals, PhD, “Jane Addams,” National Women’s History Museum, 2017, bit.ly/39JjSTj.

  2. “Jane Addams,” The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, bit.ly/2YFH3HQ.

Curated Themes

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

1871 Walton Avenue
Langston Hughes Public School 236
Cultural & Educational Institutions
Pelham Bay Park
Orchard Beach
Public Spaces
841 Barretto Street
Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!)
Cultural & Educational Institutions