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Alice Austen House

Staten Island

Why is this building significant?

The Alice Austen House, also known as “Clear Comfort,” was the home of Alice Austen, a pioneering female photographer notable for her depictions of urban life. Originally built as a one-room Dutch Colonial house, “Clear Comfort” was remodeled and expanded several times in the 1800s, most notably after John Haggerty Austen, Alice’s grandfather, purchased it in 1844. Recently, the house has gained prominence as a site of queer history; Austen spent 53 years in a loving relationship with Gertrude Tate, 30 years of which were spent living in the house together.


What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?

We provided a $10,000 grant for the restoration, repair, or replacement of the house’s shutters. After Superstorm Sandy, we gave another $10,000 grant to help move Austen’s photographic plates into safe storage and repair the basement.






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