Ederle Terrace Cafe

Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003) was a world-class swimmer and the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

Born to German immigrants, Ederle was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 108 Amsterdam Avenue, above her father’s butcher shop. As a girl, her father taught her how to swim at their summer cottage in New Jersey. By her late teens, she was a champion swimmer and a member of the Women’s Swimming Association. Ederle went on to win several medals, including the gold at the Paris 1924 Olympics, and held twenty-nine national and world amateur records by 1925.

On August 6, 1926, Ederle became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Departing from Cap Gris Nez, France, she landed on the shores of Kingsdown in Kent, England in 14 hours and 39 minutes.

Upon her return home, Ederle was greeted with a ticker tape parade in Lower Manhattan, the first woman to have that honor. She was a nationwide phenom, with the attention of the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) praising her as “America’s Best Girl”.

Ederle taught swimming at the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York City after losing a portion of her hearing several years after the Channel Swim. She performed in the 1939 World’s Fair, and resided in Flushing, Queens for over 50 years. Gertrude Ederle died in Wyckoff, New Jersey in 2003 at the age of 98.


Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Gertrude Ederle". Encyclopedia Britannica, 26 Nov. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gertrude-Ederle "Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed September 30, 2023, https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/west-59th-st-rec-ctr-and-pool/history

Wikidata contributors, “Q263287”, Wikidata, accessed December 7, 2023, https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q263287

“5710649,” OpenStreetMap, accessed December 14, 2023, https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5710649