Its been almost two years since the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel announced the LGBTQ Heritage Initiative by the National Park Service (NPS) outside the Stonewall Inn. As part of this initiative, a theme study was undertaken to identify significant places and events associated with LGBTQ Americans for the inclusion in the parks and programs of the NPS.
One resource being developed and already available to the public is the map of places with LGBTQ heritage. While this is still a work in progress by NPS, if you zoom into our area you’ll see that numerous sites are already listed in Greenwich Village. NoHo and the East Village — unsurprisingly, it has one of the highest concentrations of such significant sites anywhere in the United States.
Click here to open the map and explore.
The NPS LGBTQ Initiative project behind the map explores how the legacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. A theme study is a document that provides historical context on a specific topic — like the LGBTQ community — that is underrepresented in the national park system and in official recognition programs like the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks program. The LGBTQ theme study will provide a national historic context for LGBTQ historic places. The goals of the theme study are:
- engaging scholars, preservationists and community members to identify, research, and tell the stories of LGBTQ associated properties;
- encouraging national parks, national heritage areas, and other affiliated areas to interpret LGBTQ stories associated with them;
- identifying, documenting, and nominating LGBTQ-associated sites as national historic landmarks;
- increasing the number of listings of LGBTQ-associated properties in the National Register of Historic Places.
The website with the NPS LGBTQ map also features a link to an excel spreadsheet with more information about each identified site. A significant portion of the sites listed within the State of New York are in Greenwich Village, NoHo and the East Village. Although well known to us, its exciting that these sites are being recognized beyond New York City and the map is now featured on the GVSHP website. The map also has a side bar which provides further information on the sites and explanations of their LGBTQ association. In some cases that information is based on and linked to a GVSHP document. Examples include 101 Avenue A, Webster Hall, and sites which are part of the South Village Historic District, which NPS refers to as the “South Village nomination.”(2006 South Village Historic District proposal by Andrew Dolkart, sponsored by GVSHP).
Many cafes/bars are included such as the Pyramid Club, Eva Addams Tearoom, The Slide, Julius’ Bar and the San Remo, to name a few. Residences of LGBTQ Villagers are also listed including the Allen Ginsberg house, the James Baldwin house, and the home of Jerry Hoose (at Hudson and Christopher Streets), a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion. A sampling of public and community buildings featured are the LGBT Community Center, the Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Louis N. Jaff Art Center. The list goes beyond just buildings, as MacDougal Street and Pier 45 are included in recognition for their placements in LGBTQ history.
The public is encouraged to engage in this project in order to aid in the success of the NPS LGBTQ Initiative (click HERE). To learn more about GVSHP’s LGBTQ efforts and latest news, click HERE and to learn more about Greenwich Village’s LGBTQ history, click HERE.