Forty-eight years ago, just after 1:00am on June 28th, police raided Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn, the well-known gay bar on Christopher Street. Unlike past raids against gay bars, the crowd outside fought back, throwing bottles at the cops and protesting around the site for the next six days. According to the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, the event is “generally credited as the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement,” sparking “the next major phase of the gay liberation movement, which involved more radical political action and assertiveness during the 1970s.” But as they also note in an earlier interview with 6sqft, the struggle for LGBT rights existed long before Stonewall.
Join the Project’s co-director Ken Lustbader and project manager Amanda Davis in this video tour of historic sites around the neighborhood that play an equally important role in LGBT history and advocacy in NYC and beyond.
“Where did lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history happen in New York City? In what buildings did influential LGBT activists and artists live and work, and on what streets did groups demonstrate for their equal rights?” These are the questions that the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is answering through a first-of-its-kind initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in the five boroughs. Through a map-based online archive, based on 25 years of research of advocacy, the group hopes to make “invisible history visible” by exploring sites related to everything from theater and art to social activism and health.
To mark Pride Month, 6sqft recently talked with the Historic Sites Project’s directors–architectural historian and preservation professor at Columbia Andrew S. Dolkart; historic preservation consultant Ken Lustbader; and former senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Jay Shockley–along with their project manager, preservationist Amanda Davis, about the roots of the initiative, LGBT history in NYC, and the future of gay advocacy.
To coincide with pride weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that artist Anthony Goicolea had been chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to be commissioned by the State of New York. According to the New York Times, the statue will be built near the waterfront piers in Hudson River Park. The monument’s design features nine boulders bisected in places with glass, which can act as a prism, emitting a rainbow pattern. Governor Cuomo formed the LGBT Memorial Commission after the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in 2016; A request for designs for a new memorial went out in October of this year. Hudson River Park’s waterfront piers have figured prominently in the history of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Last June, President Obama formally recognized Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn and its surrounding area as a national historic monument, creating the first National Park Service unit dedicated to the gay rights movement. To expand the reach of this monument, Senator Chuck Schumer announced on Sunday a $1 million grant from Google to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center to begin a project preserving the oral histories and human experiences from early LGBTQ leaders present during the Stonewall Inn riots. According to the New York Times, the initiative will create an educational curriculum for students and a digital platform that’s expected to launch by the 50th anniversary of the protests in 2019.
To broaden people’s knowledge of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s history in New York City, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project created a map-based online archive to document significant sites throughout the five boroughs. Although earlier maps highlighting LGBT history have been created, they focused solely on the history of Greenwich Village, the hub of gay activism. But the new interactive map, based on 25 years of research and advocacy, hopes to make “invisible history visible” by exploring sites across the city related to everything from theater and architecture to social activism and health.
We’re right in the middle of NYC Pride Week, and this Sunday will be filled with festivities surrounding the 45th annual Pride Parade, the largest parade of its kind in the world. And in a perfectly timed decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced on Tuesday that it had designated the Stonewall Inn as the city’s first LGBT landmark. The LPC now has even more to share, releasing a fun new interactive map called Taking Pride, which documents 150 years of LGBTQ history in Greenwich Village, the hub for gay activism in the city, and even the world.
Summer Streets Is Here!: Time to break out the bike and ride the open roads. Summer Streets closes down streets in Brooklyn and Manhattan for biking, zip-lining, running, yoga and other activities. Find out where to find the annual program at The New York Times.
LGBT Barbershop Coming To Crown Heights: DNAinfo reports that hair stylist, Khane Kutzwell, plans to open a barbershop that also doubles as a safe space for LGBT to come, hang out and get a haircut in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Click through to read more and help fund her Indiegogo campaign.
A Tree Grows in Ground Zero: Narratively’s short video tells the moving story of one Cleveland Callery pear tree that refused to be broken when it was buried in the rubble at Ground Zero.
Would You Live In Damien Hirst’s Community?: Because once you’ve done it all, what else is there to do? The richest living artist is now planning an eco-community in the British country. Find out how not sustainable this project is over at PSFK.
Images: left – Video screenshot from Narratively; right – DNAinfo
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