Distinctive Destinations

Alice Austen House exterior

photo by: Alice Austen House

Alice Austen House

  • Address 2 Hylan Blvd
    Staten Island, New York 10305
  • Hours
    Tuesday–Friday
    1:00 p.m–5:00 p.m.
    Saturday–Sunday
    11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    January–February
    By Appointment Only
  • Phone 718-816-4506

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The Alice Austen House fosters creative expression, explores personal identity, and educates and inspires the public through the interpretation of the photographs, life, and historic home of pioneering American woman photographer, Alice Austen (1866–1952).

Clear Comfort (also known as the Alice Austen House) was built in 1690 as a one-room Dutch farmhouse. In 1844, Alice Austen's grandfather purchased the home. Alice Austen herself moved there as a young girl in the late 1860s with her mother, Alice Cornell Austen, after the two were abandoned by Alice's father. In 1917, Gertrude Tate moved in, and the two lived together in a loving partnership until financial problems forced them to move in 1945. When they left, the house fell into disrepair, until a group of concerned citizens saved it from demolition in the 1960s. The house successfully gained status as a historic landmark and was restored in the mid-1980s. In June 2017, the Alice Austen House amended its listing on the National Register of Historic Places to include LGBT history as an area of significance. This was an achievement of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, funded through a grant from the New York State Historic Preservation Office and made possible by the National Park Service.

Today a vibrant cultural center and a member of the Historic Aritsts' Homes & Studios program, the Alice Austen House keeps the daring spirit of the early American photographer alive by presenting exhibitions that feature both Alice Austen's pioneering historic photographs and contemporary photography; providing education programs for students; and offering a range of cultural programs for the public.

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