FOLLOWING YEAR AND HALF CAMPAIGN, CITY AGREES TO CONSIDER STONEWALL INN FOR LANDMARK DESIGNATION, NYC’S FIRST LGBT LANDMARK
Following a year and a half campaignspearheaded by Village Preservation, today the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission announced that they will consider the Stonewall for landmark designation, which would make it New York City’s first landmark designated based upon its significance to the history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement.
Village Preservation’s Executive Director Andrew Berman issued the following statement: “I am deeply gratified that the City of New York will finally consider the Stonewall Inn for landmark designation. This is a long-overdue move to recognize the incredibly important role this site and the riots connected to it have in the struggle for LGBT rights in this country and worldwide. It is critical that the history of sites like Stonewall and the immeasurably important role they played in making our country a more just, open, and accepting place, is recognized and preserved. I am glad that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has followed in the footsteps of our state and federal government, which in 1999 recognized the unique importance of the Stonewall Inn to our history. But because only New York City landmark designation can protect this site from alteration or demolition, this action is especially important. This is the first time the New York City has recognized a site with potential landmark designation based solely upon its LGBT history, but it is important that it not be the last. We have called upon the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider other critical LGBT history sites for landmark designation, such as Julius Bar, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, and the former Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, and so we hope this will be the first, and not the last, such step taken by the City.”
He added: “I want to thank everyone who helped make this important step forward today happen – the elected officials who called upon the City to take this action, the historic preservation organizations and LGBT groups, and the countless individuals who wrote to the City urging them to finally move ahead with this proposal.” Read letters of support here and here.
Information on VP’s initial push for landmark designation for Stonewall and other LGBT sites in 2014 can be found here, and the recent campaign to get the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to move on this request can be found here and here.
Village Preservation has been waging a campaign since early 2014 to get the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider Stonewall and other LGBT history sites for landmark designation, which included a letter-writing campaign and rallying support from elected officials, preservation organizations, and LGBT groups. In 1999, VP and other groups sought and secured listing of the Stonewall Inn on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the first time any site in the country was so recognized by state or federal government for its connection to LGBT history. In 2012 Village Preservation also secured a determination of eligibility for Julius’ Bar for the State and National Registers of Historic Places due to its pioneering role in the LGBT rights movement as the site of the first civil disobedience for LGBT rights.
Yesterday VP announced a press conference planned for Monday, June 1 at 10:30 am in front of the Stonewall with elected officials, preservation organizations, and LGBT groups to call upon the City to finally move on the proposal to landmark this and other historically significant LGBT sites. Today the City announced they will vote to ‘calendar,’ or formally consider the Stonewall Inn for landmark designation on Tuesday, June 2. Once this takes place, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission can then schedule a public hearing and vote on whether or not to individually landmark the Stonewall Inn.