NYC's Stonewall Inn Designated by City as a Historical Landmark
History buffs are all about saving buildings that have helped change the story of our cultures, and The Stonewall Inn is finally getting the recognition and preservation it deserves.
For those unfamiliar, The Stonewall Inn was the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots and is an iconic bar in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, acting as a meeting point for protests and demonstrations fighting for equality.
According to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s official website, the group announced Tuesday that The Stonewall Inn—originally built in the 1840s before eventually being transformed into a gay bar in 1967—was unanimously granted landmark status.
Stonewall co-owner Stacy lentz released a statement, saying, “This is such a win for LGBT New Yorkers and the community around the world. It's a symbol of fighting against repression and we are thrilled the building will be preserved for generations to come.”
The decision to honor the building with a historical status was huge for the LGBT community due to multiple reasons. Not only did the announcement come only a few days before NYC’s annual Pride Rally, but it also is the first time a building in the city was designated as a landmark primarily for its significance to LGBT history.
The most significant event at The Stonewall Inn took place on June 28, 1969, when police raided the bar to crack down on New York City’s gay clubs. The result was the LGBT community fighting back that night, and the building has been a safe haven for those fighting during the LGBT liberation movement ever since.
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director Karen Loew talked about the significance of the building and the increased notoriety now that it’s a historic landmark:
“Every year for Pride Month it's a major gathering place and it's also the place where people went to celebrate when gay marriage was legalized in New York state. When something is designated an individual landmark it's subjected to a greater amount of scrutiny.”
The timing of the announcement was perfect for the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the LGBT community. As the 2015 edition of the Pride Rally approaches, the event is celebrating its 45th anniversary, with the first taking place just a month after the Stonewall riots.
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