The Greenwich Village Historical Society recently spoke out about how New York’s Landmarks Preservation Committee has not officially established any LGBT-related sites as landmarks based on their LGBT history. “In truth, the LPC has never designated a single building in all of New York based primarily upon LGBT history, in spite of several requests to do so and ample opportunities in what is perhaps the premiere city in the world for modern LGBT history sites,” writes GVHS. Many buildings with an LGBT history have not been recognized as national historical landmarks at all. Here are some that should be.
1. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s House
75 Bedford Street
Edna St. Vincet Millay was an openly bisexual writer in the early- to mid- 1900’s. She was the first woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Her home is thought to be the narrowest building in New York.
2. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street
This old school building became the home of the LGBT Center in 1983, and it’s still going strong. ACT UP and GLAAD both formed at the Center, and Kieth Haring painted a mural in one of the bathrooms.
3. The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop
15 Christopher Street
The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop was the first gay and lesbian bookstore. It was created in 1967, moved from 291 Mercer Street to 15 Christopher Street in 1973, and sadly closed in 2009.
4. Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse
99 Wooster Street
The Gay Activist Alliance split off from the Gay Liberation Front after the Stonewall Riots. They held their meetings in this Firehouse at 99 Wooster Street from 1971-1974, but an arson forced them to move.
5. Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
The beautiful Judson Memorial Church, located right on Washington Square Park, has historically been used for radical political groups, including LGBT groups, to organize, and it still is.
6. Daughters of Blitis’s Meeting Spot
26-32 Charlton Street
The Daughters of Blitis was the first lesbian political rights organization in the United States, and they met at this location starting in 1963.
7. The Pyramid Club
101 Avenue A
The Pyramid Club opened in 1979, and helped create a drag scene in New York. Although it has been requested that it be considered a Historical Landmark, it is not as of yet. It is still open today.
8. Julius Bar
159 W 10th Street
Julius Bar is the oldest gay bar in New York. It opened in 1864, but refused to serve gay people until 1966, when activists staged a “sip-in” to challenge the laws that refused gays liquor. It worked, and Julius Bar is still open today.
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