Alice Austen House
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Farmhouse: 1690; Restorations, Beyer Blinder Belle, 1985; Barnhart Restoration & Design, 2014

Clear Comfort, a charming waterfront Victorian Gothic cottage, serves as the Alice Austen House museum. Located in Alice Austen Park on the north shore of Staten Island, near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with sweeping views of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, the museum is dedicated to the life and work of Alice Austen. The home dates back to a circa 1700 one-room Dutch farmhouse. In 1844 John Haggerty Austen, Alice Austen's grandfather, purchased the home and made many of the renovations that gave the home its Victorian Gothic character. 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 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.Alice Austen House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and a member of Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House is a New York City and National Landmark, on the Register of Historic Places and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's distinctive group of Historic Artists' Homes and Studios. The museum comprises of three period rooms, including Alice Austen's recently renovated darkroom, photography galleries, and library.

This site is part of the Historic House Trust of NYC, a non-profit organization operating in tandem with the NYC Parks Department that provides essential support for 23 houses of architectural and cultural significance, spanning 350+ years of New York City life.

Saturday & Sunday Tour Info: Tours covering the life of Alice Austen and her relationship to the house will be offered at 11am, 12, 1, 2, 3, and 4pm both days.

Access Notes: This is an old house, and not all areas are wheelchair accessible, but a surprising amount is, and one of our restrooms is ADA compliant. People who use wheelchairs or other mobile devices should enter in the back entrance marked for access for people with mobility challenges.

Since the first OHNY Weekend in 2003, this site is one of almost 50 have participated for 10 or more years. When you visit, please thank them for championing an open city! To see a full list of 15th Anniversary sites, click here.

This site is part of the special series Spaces of Respite, highlighting sites across the five boroughs where you can find respite from the stress of contemporary urban life, pause, and gather your thoughts. Click here to read more and see the full list of participating sites.


Image Credit: Floto + Warner, Clear Comfort, 2015, Copyright Floto + Warner