Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Alice Austen House

The Alice Austin House
The Alice Austen House (also known as Clear Comfort) 

Location: Rosebank, Staten Island, New York, USA

Opened: Original one-room structure dates to 1600s

Closed: Home still exists, but in need of repairs, weatherproofing, and general preservation

I don't post too often on private homes as lost womyn's space, but I'll make an exception in this case. Besides, rules are meant to be broken, right?

Alice Austen (sitting) and Gertrude Tate
The Bowery Boys, an excellent blog on New York City history, can tell you all about Alice Austen (1866-1952), a pioneering and gifted photographer...and a sister. Alice lived in this home for years with her partner Gertrude Tate, a Brooklyn school teacher and dance instructor.

Yes, yet another lesbian power couple named Alice and Gertrude.

Rather than repeat what the Boys said--or steal all their photographs--I'll just urge you to visit them.

There's a second reason you need to visit the Bowery Boys website. This home is a nominee in the Partners for Preservation initiative, which is awarding preservation funding for eligible properties in the New York City area. Winners are selected by popular vote, so if you feel moved to save Alice and Gertrude's home, go to the Boys site (or straight to the Partners site) and VOTE! You only have a few days left! And you can vote once every day! Do your part to save a historical womyn's space!

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