Tourist In Your Own Town

Tourist In Your Own Town #19: Alice Austen House

April, 2013

This month we visit the Alice Austen House at 2 Hylan Boulevard (at Edgewater Street) in the Rosebank section of Staten Island.

Alice Austen (1866-1952) was one of America’s first women photographers. She was an outstanding and prolific shutterbug, often working outside the confines of a studio, where over the course of her life she captured over 8,000 images.

Her Staten Island home, also known as “Clear Comfort” was built in 1690 as a one-room Dutch farmhouse. In 1844, the house was purchased by Alice’s grandfather who expanded and remodeled it in the Gothic Revival style. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Alice was in financial ruin and had no choice but to leave her home. It soon fell into disrepair until a group of concerned citizens saved it from demolition in the 1960s. The house successfully gained status as a City and a National Historic Landmark, and was restored.

The house now operates as a museum commemorating Alice’s great work, offering rotating exhibits, lawn festivals and children’s photography classes. It is also a part of the City’s Historic House Trust.

Learn more about Alice Austen, her photographs and the historic house she lived in. Watch our video, then plan your visit.

Tourist In Your Own Town #19 - Alice Austen House from New York Landmarks Conservancy on Vimeo.