How-To Guide

This website is a scholarly project meant to serve as an educational resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about existing historic and cultural sites associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in New York City. We are continuously adding sites after conducting thorough research. View list of all historic sites currently included on our website.

Entries have been written using various resources in order to be as accurate as possible in documenting each site’s LGBT significance. On historic site pages, the names of LGBT people are in bold. Due to the sensitive nature of identifying certain historical figures as LGBT, each site page (where applicable) includes scholarly sources and guidebooks that we referenced in determining the individual’s inclusion on our map.

Demolished sites will not appear on the map, but we are tracking them separately on an internal list.

Many of the sites featured on our website are privately owned and not open to the public. Please respect people’s privacy and do not trespass.

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Search Features
Filtering the Map
Curated Tours & Themes
Timeframe
Copyright & Permissions
Photo Above

Gay Liberation Front Poster Image (cropped), 1970, facing west at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 19th Street. GLF was the first LGBT rights organization to form after the 1969 Stonewall uprising. © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC. Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

Search Features

Anyone using this website can dive right into the map and explore pins on their own.

At the top of the page you will also notice a magnifying glass icon that allows you to search the site by keywords. This will bring up thumbnail views of all related content, including news, events, and historic sites (which will be differentiated by its color-coded site type at the bottom of the thumbnail).

Search Screenshot

Filtering the Map

Historic sites have been tagged by Cultural Significance, Neighborhood, Era, and LGBT Category to help you search the map. In the yellow “filter results by” box on the homepage, you can choose as many tags as you want and then hit the “apply filters” button. Only historic sites on the map that fit your search criteria will remain.

This is also helpful if you are looking for something more specific. Choose “bars & nightlife” “1950s” “1960s” and “gay” to find where gay men were socializing in the two decades before the Stonewall uprising (narrow your search even further by choosing one or several neighborhoods or boroughs). Interested in seeing everything we have so far on transgender history, regardless of time or place? Just select the “transgender” tag.

The map will automatically zoom in or out to include all historic sites that match your search. Hover over a pin to get the basic information about the site or click on it to go to the site’s history page.

Filtering the map example

Cultural Significance

Activism & Politics
Examples: Political Figures, Demonstrations/Zaps, Marches, Activist Organizations

Architecture & Interiors
Examples: Architects, Interior Designers, Historic Preservationists, Landscape Designers, Urban Planners

Bars & Nightlife
Examples: Drinking, Eating, Clubbing/Dancing

Cruising & Sex
Examples: Sexual Activity in Public Places (Bathhouses, Parks, Alleys, Sex Clubs, Beaches)

Dance Performance
Examples: Dancers, Dance Instructors, Choreographers

Health & Medicine
Examples: AIDS, Surgeries, Psychiatry, Doctors

Literature
Examples: Poets, Novelists, Writers, Journalists

Music
Examples: Composers/Conductors, Musicians, Singers

People of Color
Examples: African Americans, Latinos/as, Asian Americans

Social Gathering
Examples: Community Events, House Parties/Salons, Religious Worship

Theater
Examples: Performers, Playwrights, Directors, Producers, Designers

Visual Arts
Examples: Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, Muralists, Fashion Designers, Film Actors, Film Directors, Film Producers, Film Designers

Type of Historic Site

Bars, Clubs & Restaurants
Examples: Bars, Nightclubs, Sex Clubs, Restaurants, Cafés

Cultural & Educational Institutions
Examples: Museums, Schools/Universities, Archives, Libraries

Medical Facilities
Examples: Hospitals, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Doctor’s Offices

Organization & Community Spaces
Examples: Activist Offices, (Non-Bar/Club) Social Venues, Houses of Worship

Performance Venues
Examples: Theater, Performance Space, Sports Venue

Public Spaces
Examples: Parks, Streetscapes, Plazas, Cemeteries

Residences
Examples: Apartment Buildings, Houses, Hotels (former residences only)

Stores & Businesses
Examples: Artist Workspaces, Galleries, Bookstores, Department Stores

Significant Era

Each historic site has been tagged with one or more eras based on when it was associated with a significant LGBT person or event. The 20th century has been broken down by decade while the 19th century and earlier have been grouped into two broader date ranges.

This filtering option is particularly useful if you are interested in a specific era that you can combine with cultural significance tags. For example, choose “1960s” and “activism & politics” to see all the pre-Stonewall LGBT activism sites we have mapped for that decade so far.

LGBT Category

You can search historic sites by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender tags. Language and terminology are continually evolving and identity is complex. How people defined (or didn’t define) themselves in the past can be different from how they might be identified today; in many cases, terminology can change within a person’s lifetime. “Lesbian” and “gay man” became more commonly used in the post-World War II era whereas “bisexual” and “transgender” were not commonly used until the 1990s.

There are historical figures featured on our website who did not use any of these terms, often because they had different connotations at the time or were not in use. To provide consistency for readers using this filtering category, we have assigned the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender tags to individuals based on how they might be defined today. For example, even though Alice Austen would not have used the term “lesbian,” the Alice Austen House has been given a lesbian tag so that it will appear on the map for anyone looking to learn more about sites connected to women who had relationships with women.

We have tried to limit using all four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender tags together in order to make the filtering option as useful as possible. There are times, however, when we feel tagging all four groups for one site is important. The first reason would be that we have documentation that all four groups used that particular space simultaneously or over the course of its history. The second reason would be when there is high probability that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people all used large gathering spaces even though we have not uncovered such information. Site examples in this case would include public beaches, pride marches and gatherings, inclusive houses of worship, and organization and community locations.

Please also note that because this is a history project, there are times when we may use terms that are not in use today. In those cases, we have noted that the term was common at that time.

Neighborhood

If you want the map to zoom to a particular neighborhood, choose one from this list. Manhattan has been divided into neighborhoods and regions due to the high density of historic sites there. Certain neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn where we know large LGBT communities exist(ed) have been included. For other neighborhoods there and in the Bronx and Staten Island, we will include specific neighborhoods if we discover a large number of sites there in the future. You can still limit your search by borough.

Curated Themes & Tours

The homepage features rotating curated themes and tours that we have created to help guide you through collections of related historic sites. These may be based on important LGBT figures and groups, commemorative time periods such as Pride Month or Latino History Month, and/or significant social and cultural movements, such as the Harlem Renaissance or Bohemian Greenwich Village.

These curated collections may not always feature historic sites that are within walking distance of each other, but as we add more sites to the map we plan to highlight the LGBT history of specific neighborhoods through this search tool.

Curated Themes and Tours

Timeframe

We are documenting existing historic sites that are associated with places, people, and events from the city’s founding in the 17th century to the year 2000. This is a later cut-off date than is typical of most historic building surveys, but we wanted to include the impact of the AIDS epidemic, prominent organizations that were founded in the post-Stonewall era, and the emergence of more ethnically diverse groups and individuals across the five boroughs in the 1980s and 1990s.