From: DNA Info New York

Protect Historic LGBT Sites in Greenwich Village, Preservationists Say

By: Danielle Tcholakian
February 11, 2014

WEST VILLAGE — Preservationists are pushing for extra protections for theStonewall Inn and the barJulius', citing the Village venues' role in the push for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

The Stonewall, at 52 Christopher St., and Julius', at 159 W. 10th St., are already largely protected from demolition because they are located in a historic district, but the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation is calling on the city to make them individual landmarks to ensure their history is not forgotten.

Julius' touts itself as the oldest gay bar in New York City. The Stonewall was the site of not only the 1969 riots that are widely considered the most important event to kickstart the modern LGBT rights movement, but also, 44 years later, celebrationswhen the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.

"They're not getting the explicit protections and recognition that they should be getting," said Andrew Berman, GVSHP's executive director.

"It's very, very easy for this history to get lost to the sands of time, and that's one of the purposes of landmark designation — is to make sure that it's not lost, that it is recognized."

Both The Stonewall and Julius are part of the Greenwich Village Historic District, which means any changes to the buildings must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But the LPC's 1969 report on the district, detailing the significance of each building, was drafted two months prior to the Stonewall riots and therefore doesn't mention the buildings' role in the fight for LGBT rights.

To ensure that the history of The Stonewall and Julius' are remembered, Berman wants the LPC to either designate them as individual landmarks or to update the original 1969 landmarking report with more details on the buildings' cultural significance.

"We don't really want to leave these things to chance," Berman said. "It should be clear and explicit in terms of the designation reports."

 The Stonewall Inn.
The Stonewall Inn.
DNAinfo/Chelsia Marcius
 

Berman and state Sen. Brad Hoylmanrecently wrote letters to LPC Chairman Robert Tierney requesting the landmarking changes.

The Landmarks Commission has received the letters and is "aware of the important history of The Stonewall Inn and Julius' Bar," said Heather McCracken, LPC spokeswoman.

The Stonewall and Julius are part of an ongoing LPC study aimed at protecting culturally significant buildings that are important to "groups that have historically been underrepresented among the city's designated landmarks," McCracken said. Recent examples include the historic black neighborhood of Addisleigh Park in Queens and the longstanding music venue Webster Hall in the East Village. 

The LPC will consider Berman's request, but McCracken said the commission's approach "would have to be balanced among various issues, including the Commission's overall workload, potential regulatory issues and the need to make the designation process as inclusive as possible."


Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Robin Byrd
  9. Hon. Gale Brewer
  10. Christian Campbell
  11. Kathleen Chalfant
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Erik Coler
  14. Debra Cooper
  15. Hon. Jon Cooper
  16. Wilson Cruz
  17. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  18. Alan Cumming
  19. Valorie Curry
  20. Michael Czaczkes
  21. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  22. Jon Del Giorno
  23. Aries Dela Cruz
  24. Kyan Douglas
  25. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  26. James Duff
  27. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  28. Kathryn Erbe
  29. Hon. Herman Farrell
  30. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  31. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  32. Dan Gettleman
  33. Hon. Mark Green
  34. Robert Grunnah
  35. Tony Hoffmann
  36. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  37. Binn Jakupi
  38. Hon. Letitia James
  39. Hon. Corey Johnson
  40. Camille Joseph
  41. Phillip Keane
  42. Greg Lambert
  43. Dodge Landesman
  44. Cameron McFadden
  45. Michael Mallon
  46. Mike C. Manning
  47. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  48. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  49. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  50. John Cameron Mitchell
  51. Donny Moss
  52. Barry Mullineaux
  53. Ali Najmi
  54. Hon. Paul Newell
  55. Hawk Newsome
  56. Hon. Yuh-Line Niou
  57. Denis O'Hare
  58. Noah Pfefferbilt
  59. Josue Pierre
  60. Bob Pontarelli
  61. Billy Porter
  62. Joe Pressley
  63. Randy Rainbow
  64. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  65. Neil Reilly
  66. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  67. Barbara Rosen
  68. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  69. Maer Roshan
  70. Toby Russo
  71. Bill Samuels
  72. James Sansum
  73. Scott Sartiano
  74. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  75. Lynn Schulman
  76. Hon. Rebecca Seawright
  77. Frank Selvaggi
  78. Rev. Al Sharpton
  79. Taylor Shubert
  80. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  81. Tom Smith
  82. Marti Speranza
  83. Anne Strahle
  84. Hon. Scott Stringer
  85. Wayne Sunday
  86. Hon. Bill Thompson
  87. Hon. Matt Titone
  88. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  89. Sam Underwood
  90. Derek Walker
  91. Jessica Walter
  92. Patricia Nell Warren
  93. Wil Weder
  94. Seth Weissman
  95. Justin Westbrook-Lowery
  96. Mel Wymore
  97. Emma Wolfe
  98. Hon. Keith Wright
  99. Zephyr Teachout