After Nine-Year Campaign by Village Preservation, Julius’ Bar Building at 159 West 10th Street Under Formal Consideration for Landmark Designation

We’re thrilled to announce that after a nine-year campaign led by Village Preservation, this morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to “calendar” or finally begin formal consideration of the building housing Julius’ Bar at 159 West 10th Street/188 Waverly Place for landmark designation. We first proposed the circa 1825 building that houses one of the city’s oldest continuously operating bars and its oldest gay bar for landmark designation nearly a decade ago, along with three other sites of extreme importance to LGBTQ+ civil rights history: the Stonewall Inn, the LGBT Community Center, and the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse. While those were landmarked in 2015 and 2019 the LPC resisted landmarking Julius’ until now. Today’s calendaring must be followed by a public hearing and a vote on actual landmark designation within a year.

Village Preservation has a long history working to celebrate and protect the important history of this site. In 2012, we got it determined eligible for the State and National Register of Historic Places, when few sites anywhere in the country had received such a determination based upon LGBTQ+ history (the site was later listed through the efforts of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project). We’ve waged multiple campaigns to get the LPC to finally move to honor and protect this history, including partnering with the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah, the Village Voice photographer who took the iconic image of the 1966 “Sip In” there that was a seminal pre-Stonewall protest for gay rights, and most recently placing a plaque on the building along with the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project honoring its special place in history. 

Sip-In at Julius’, © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. Our special thanks to the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah for their support of Village Preservation.

Village Preservation has made honoring and protecting LGBTQ+ and all civil rights history in our neighborhoods a special part of our mission, and has proposed and secured landmark designation of sites connected to African American, Women’s, immigrant, Latinx, and social justice history. We helped secure National Register of Historic Places listing and NYC landmark designation of the Stonewall Inn in 1999 and 2015 (the first such LGBTQ+ designation of either type), and last year secured landmark designation of 70 Fifth Avenue, the former headquarters of the NAACP and The Crisis Magazine, and home to an unrivaled array of women’s, peace, labor, civil rights, humanitarian, and social justice organizations. We will inform the public when a hearing on the landmarking of Julius’ has been scheduled and how to support designation.

September 13, 2022