Starting this week, the city will begin the process of considering the historic Stonewall Inn for landmarks designation, Gay City News reports. Stonewall was the site of a series of protests in 1969 in the wake of police raids on the Greenwich Village bar, and is widely considered the event that sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement. On June 2, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on whether or not to schedule a public hearing on the subject.
“The agency has been working on this for some time and LGBT Pride Month [June] is an ideal occasion to recommend this iconic cultural landmark and recognize its central significance in the American LGBT movement,” LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan told The Daily News.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and other public officials have been lobbying on behalf of the Stonewall Inn (and other sites, like Julius’ Bar, the oldest gay bar in the city) for a long time. However, since the Christopher Street bar is already located within the borders of the Greenwich Village Historic District, the city has been reluctant to grant the site individual designation.
However, the idea of landmark designation does not have uniform support within the LGBT community. In an open letter, Jim Fouratt, who participated in the protests, wrote an open letter National Parks Conservation Association pledging his opposition to special designation for Stonewall.
“I am very opposed to designating a business that was run by organized crime in contempt of the law and with the knowledge of the local police force as a symbol of Lesbian and Gay liberation,” he wrote. “It is a private business still in operation. To me it is a symbol of oppression and not liberation.”
· EXCLUSIVE: Stonewall Inn Appears Headed for City Landmark Status –– A Gay First [Gay City News]
· Stonewall Inn, famous Greenwich Village gay bar, being considered for landmark status by NYC [NYDN]
· All Greenwich Village Historic District coverage [Curbed]