About the Project

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 kinds of historic places – dating from the city’s founding in the 17th century to the year 2000 – that we are continuously documenting so that our project reflects the diversity of the LGBT community throughout the five boroughs. View list of all historic sites currently included on our website.

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a scholarly initiative and educational resource that officially began in August 2015 and is based on over 25 years of research and advocacy by our founders and directors, Andrew Dolkart, Ken Lustbader, and Jay Shockley. While part of the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD), they helped create the nation’s first map for LGBT historic sites in 1994.

The goal of the project is to broaden people’s knowledge of LGBT history beyond Stonewall and to place that history in a geographical context. Our interactive map features sites that are important to LGBT history as well as those that illustrate the community’s influence on America. You will find sites that show the impact that the LGBT community has had in fields such as the arts, literature, and social justice. You will also discover important gathering spaces, such as bars, clubs, and community centers that, until fairly recently, were the only places where LGBT people could come together and be themselves in a way that they often could not be in their personal and professional lives.

Separate from the interactive map, we are also developing a historic context statement and surveying sites that appear eligible for official listing in cooperation with the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Our work also includes nominating sites to the National Register of Historic Places. This honorary federal list includes over 92,000 sites across the country, yet the LGBT community remains vastly underrepresented with only 13 in total. See what has been listed so far in New York City.

We hope that our website inspires the LGBT community and youth, who are often not taught this history, in particular. Now more than ever it is important to raise public awareness about the community’s contributions to American history as well as the struggles it has faced in achieving acceptance and equality under the law. Our project encourages you to take a second look at the physical places you walk past every day and to appreciate a history that, until our initiative, has largely been invisible.

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Photo Above

Gay “Be-In” at the Sheep Meadow in Central Park at the end of the first NYC Pride March, June 28, 1970. Photo by Diana Davies. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Help us recognize historic sites associated with the diverse groups within NYC’s LGBT community!

Project Directors

For over 25 years, the three project directors have been national pioneers in issues related to LGBT history, documentation, and historic preservation.

Andrew S. Dolkart

Andrew S. Dolkart is a noted New York City architectural historian and a Professor of Historic Preservation in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University. From 2008 to 2016, he served as Director of the Historic Preservation program. He is the author of several award-winning books, including The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908-1929; Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street; and Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development. He was also the author of the first edition of the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Guide to New York City Landmarks.

Andrew co-authored the Stonewall nomination, which resulted in the first-ever National Register of Historic Places (1999) and National Historic Landmark (2000) listings for an LGBT site. He served as a panelist for “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York and was also a participant in the 1994 map project, “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks,” created by the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD). In addition to writing scores of other National Register nominations, he authored the nomination for Julius’ bar in Greenwich Village and amended the nomination for the Alice Austen House on Staten Island for their significance to LGBT history.

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Ken Lustbader

Ken Lustbader is a historic preservation consultant based in New York City. Between 2007 and 2015, he served as Historic Preservation Program Director at the J.M. Kaplan Fund where he was responsible for developing and implementing US and international grant initiatives. Prior to that he was lead consultant for the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, a coalition of five preservation organizations that was formed in response to the September 11 attacks. In that capacity he developed and implemented a comprehensive preservation strategy that included the conservation of in situ elements of the World Trade Center that are now integral components of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. Between 1994 and 2002, he was the Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program.

In graduate school he authored “Landscape of Liberation: Preserving Lesbian and Gay History in Greenwich Village,” for which he received the 1993 Outstanding M.S. Historic Preservation Thesis award at Columbia University. In 1994, he helped create the map “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” and, in 2011, served as a panelist in “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York.

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Jay Shockley

Jay retired in 2015 as senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission where since 1979 he researched and wrote over 100 designation reports covering all aspects of the city’s architectural, social, and cultural history. In 1993, he helped pioneer the concept of recognizing LGBT place-based history by incorporating it into the Commission’s reports. This effort culminated in the full essay, “The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community’s Presence in the South Village” in the South Village Historic District Designation Report (2013). That year, he also co-initiated an online landmarks guide that reinterpreted already designated Landmarks to highlight their LGBT history.

Separately, Jay was the author of the chapter “Preservation of LGBTQ Historic & Cultural Sites – A New York City Perspective” in the National Park Service’s LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History (2016). He also co-authored the Stonewall nomination, which resulted in the first-ever National Register of Historic Places (1999) and National Historic Landmark (2000) listings for an LGBT site. He was the creator and leader of the panel program, “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York. As part of the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD), Jay also co-created the 1994 map, “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks.” He has co-authored (with artist and historian Susan Tunick) a series of articles on the early 1850s development of American terra cotta, and has also lectured and written on various other cultural heritage topics.

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Project Manager

Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis is an architectural historian who has been with the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project since its founding in August 2015. She previously served as the Director of Preservation and Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and gained extensive experience conducting cultural resource surveys while working for Architectural Resources Group in Los Angeles and the Landmarks Preservation Commission in New York. As a monuments conservation intern at the Central Park Conservancy, she assisted in the restoration of the Minton tile ceiling at Bethesda Terrace. She holds a BA in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

Amanda’s passion for researching New York City’s diverse cultural heritage comes in part from documenting her own family’s history. Her Jewish ancestors on her father’s side first settled on the Lower East Side in the 1880s before moving to Brooklyn some 40 years later. In the 1960s, her mother’s family immigrated to Queens from Colombia. Amanda sews in her spare time and loves that her “abuelita” once worked as a seamstress in the Garment District.

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Advisory Committee

The project team would like to thank the following group of historic preservationists, authors, and historians who form our advisory committee. Their support of the project and their in-depth knowledge of LGBT and NYC history have been invaluable.

Joan Berkowitz

Preservationist

Richard Burns

Not-for-Profit Consultant

George Chauncey

Historian

Kenneth R. Cobb

Archivist, NYC Municipal Archives

Deborah Edel

Co-Founder, Lesbian Herstory Archives

Donna Graves

Public Historian

Kathleen Howe

Survey and Education Coordinator, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Perin Hurewitz

Stonewall 50/World Pride 2019 Organizing Committee

Jonathan Ned Katz

Author and Founder of OutHistory.org

Kathleen LaFrank

National Register Coordinator, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Eric Marcus

Author and Historian

Joyce Mendelsohn

Author and Historian

Diana Rodriguez

Founder, Pride Live Nation

Eric Washington

Historian

Shayne Watson

Architectural Historian and Preservation Planner