Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn pols support landmarking Walt Whitman’s home

May 23, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
99 Ryerson St., where Walt Whitman lived. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

A coalition of preservationists, scholars and admirers of poet and former Brooklyn Eagle editor Walt Whitman are trying to landmark one of his former homes at 99 Ryerson St., and their effort has gotten a boost from councilmembers. Whitman lived in the house for about a year between 1855 and 1856, and scholars say he finished his first edition of “Leaves of Grass” while living there.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and six others, including Brooklyn Councilmembers Carlos Menchaca and Laurie Cumbo, have signed a letter stressing the cultural importance of the house, according to Brownstoner. They also say that the house should be landmarked because of Whitman’s significance to the LGBTQ community as one of the first writers to openly express same-sex love. The city Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected a request to evaluate the site last year, but Whitman advocates are still pressing forward with their efforts.


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