Walt Whitman, America’s most beloved poet, lived at 99 Ryerson Street in Brooklyn, New York when his world famous book Leaves of Grass was first published in 1855. Although the poet lived in more than 30 buildings in New York City during this lifetime, the house at 99 Ryerson Street is the only one still standing. Accordingly, 99 Ryerson Street is of great cultural and historical significance.
There is a petition campaign by the Coalition to Save Walt Whitman’s House seeking official city landmark designation from New York City to protect the building from demolition, especially because development is encroaching on the neighborhood. While the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission initially rejected the request, the Commission is currently reviewing additional information and research that was provided on the significance of the site and Walt Whitman’s association with the site. The campaign to save the Walt Whitman House needs your help to convince the Commission to designate this critically important building as a landmark.
You can help by signing the petition here and by contacting the Landmarks Preservation Commission if you are a New York resident.
The house at 99 Ryerson Street is one of only two buildings directly associated with Walt Whitman that are still standing in New York City. Although he only lived in the house, which was owned by his mother, between from 1855 to 1856, he wrote some of his most important poetry there. It would be an unforgivable tragedy to lose this crucially important building to history. Join in protecting this important cultural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.