20-site Greenwich Village walking tour conveys Stonewall uprising’s pivotal history
By: Tanay Warerkar
Earlier today, the National Parks Conservation Association launched a walking tour that’s dedicated to telling the story behind the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the subsequent fight for LGBTQ rights.
This self-guided walking tour will include 20 different stops near and around the Stonewall Inn (now a national monument), in the Greenwich Village area. In creating this walking tour, the NPCA partnered with NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and built on their groundbreaking work identifying sites of historic importance to the LGBTQ community in the city.
“Stonewall isn’t just a building, it’s the birthplace of an important movement,” Cortney Worrall, the Northeast senior regional director for NPCA, said in a statement. “And the supporting role the surrounding neighborhood played in this movement can only fully be understood by walking the streets and reliving how the uprising unfolded. This is how we remember our painful past, and what keeps our country from repeating it.”
Stops on this tour include the former home of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop (the country’s first LGBTQ bookstore) on Christopher Street; Julius’ Bar, where the Mattachine Society held a “sip-in” to protest the State Liquor Authority’s policy of revoking licenses from bars that served lesbians and gay men; and the snake pit, a basement bar that too was raided less than a year after the Stonewall uprising.
“Our mission is to make the invisible history of New York City’s LGBT community, which can be felt throughout the city but particularly here in Greenwich Village, a visible and better understood facet of our city’s historical fabric,” Jay Shockley, co-director of the Historic Sites Project, said in a statement.
Download, Print and Explore Greenwich Village with the New Self-Guided Walking Tour
September 29, 2017
We’re pleased to have partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association in developing and writing a Greenwich Village LGBT walking tour that will be distributed at the Stonewall National Monument.
The tour is a snapshot of locations related to LGBT history that builds on our work documenting a full-range of sites related to the community and its influence on American culture. The locations help demonstrate the existence of an LGBT neighborhood in the Village and the burgeoning civil rights movement before Stonewall, and the resulting impact of the Uprising itself.
Read more about the debut of the self-guided walking tour.
New Historic Walking Tour at Stonewall National Monument Launches Today, Connecting the Public with LGBT History
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alison Zemanski Heis, National Parks Conservation Association
p: (202) 384-8762 / e: [email protected]
Ken Lustbader, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
p: (917) 848-1776 / e: [email protected]
New Historic Walking Tour at
Stonewall National Monument Launches Today,
Connects LGBT History
New York, NY – Today, park and preservation advocates, along with elected officials including Congressman Jerrold Nadler and New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, launched the first walking tour dedicated to telling the history of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The tour connects the public with nearly 20 historic sites significant to the LGBT community, anchored by and surrounding the Stonewall National Monument in New York’s Greenwich Village. Collectively these sites contribute to the story of the LGBT civil rights’ struggle and the events and social changes that eventually led to the Stonewall uprising and its impact.
National Parks Conservation Association, a leading group behind the campaign to help create the national park site, and experts from the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will debut the new self-guided walking tour with a presentation at Stonewall National Monument, including the release of the new user-friendly map that is available to the public starting today.
“The LGBT historic sites along this walking tour are unknown to many, but hopefully not for long,” said Cortney Worrall, Northeast senior regional director for National Parks Conservation Association. “Stonewall isn’t just a building. It’s the birthplace of an important movement. And the supporting role the surrounding neighborhood played in this movement can only fully be understood by walking the streets and reliving how the uprising unfolded. This is how we remember our painful past, and what keeps our country from repeating it. There’s no better people to learn this from than the best storytellers America has to offer – our National Park Rangers.”
Highlights along the tour include Julius’ Bar, site of the 1966 “Sip-In” by the Mattachine Society, an early LGBT rights group, which brought attention to the State Liquor Authority’s discriminatory policy of revoking the license of bars that served gay men and lesbians; the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, established by gay rights activist Craig Rodwell as America’s first gay and lesbian bookstore in 1967; the Snake Pit, a basement bar that, less than a year after Stonewall, was the site of a police raid that resulted in protests by the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance, which demonstrated the strength of these recently formed organizations and inspired more people to become politically active in the fight for LGBT equality.
“Our mission is to make the invisible history of New York City’s LGBT community, which can be felt throughout the city but particularly here in Greenwich Village, a visible and better understood facet of our city’s historical fabric,” said Jay Shockley, co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, the nonprofit group responsible for the historical research to inform the new tour anchored by Stonewall National Monument.
The Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 uprising, is considered the birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. In response to police raids against the LGBT community in the summer of 1969, demonstrations over a six-day period took place in the streets surrounding the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park. The Stonewall events, considered some of the most important of the LGBT civil rights movement, at Stonewall forever changed history, and are considered some of the most important events of the LGBT civil rights movement. These demonstrations helped set the stage for the progress that has since been made on LGBT liberation and equality, and the larger push for human rights and civil rights in the United States. After a years-long campaign to honor this story, Stonewall National Monument became our country’s first national park site dedicated to LGBT history in June of 2016.
“Thanks to the efforts of the National Parks Conservation Association and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, visitors to the Stonewall National Monument will be able to discover some of the rich history of the area that led to the uprising, and set off a global movement,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “The history of the LGBT community and its struggle for civil rights is an important part of American history, and I am proud to have helped lead the effort to have the site of the Stonewall Uprising designated as a national monument.”
“Stonewall remains the town square for the LGBT community – a living, breathing national treasure,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “As a gay elected official and a dad, I hope the new historic walking tour provides greater insight for visitors to the monument and reminds future generations of the inspiring historic events that advanced human rights here in Greenwich Village and around the world. In Albany, I’m proud to have played a role in making the Stonewall National Monument possible and I’m honored to take part in this inaugural tour today.”
“After the designation of the Stonewall National Monument, I am so pleased to see the beginnings of programmatic planning for the park and surrounding LGBT historical community get under way,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “Developing a plan for the park with many educational opportunities will tell the stories of the LBGT pioneers who made Greenwich Village a bastion for civil rights change, and show young people the long history of the continuing march toward equality.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. Founded in 2015, the Project is a nonprofit cultural initiative and educational resource that is making an invisible history visible by documenting historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community throughout New York City. For more, visit www.nyclgbtsites.org, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Help Plan the Future of Stonewall National Monument
The National Park Service is preparing a foundation document to guide planning and management of Stonewall National Monument. We welcome all interested persons to participate in this effort. The first comment period for the foundation document runs from September 26, 2017 through October 26, 2017
To learn more, visit our planning website: parkplanning.nps.gov/ston.
On June 24, 2016, President Obama issued Presidential Proclamation 9465, establishing the Stonewall National Monument in New York City, New York. The national monument was created to preserve and interpret resources associated with the Stonewall uprising, a momentous event in the history of the civil rights movement for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The uprising was in response to the June 28, 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a well-known LGBT bar, and the continued riots and demonstrations in the neighborhood in the days that followed.
For general information about Stonewall National Monument, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/ston.
Gay Green-Wood Tour
October 7, 2017 | 12:00 - 2:00 P.M.
500 25th Street, Brooklyn
View on Google Maps
Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn celebrates LGBT History month with a special trolley tour illuminating permanent residents who have made a lasting impact on American culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. You will visit the graves of important LGBT figures including “It’s Raining Men” co-writer, Paul Jabara; sculptor of Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, Emma Stebbins; activists, Drs. Emery Hetrick and Damien Martin; and Broadway lyricist, Fred Ebb, among others. Tour goers will mark each grave with a rainbow flag.
The tour will be led by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project team. We will be joined by Green-Wood’s Manager of Preservation and Restoration, Neela Wickremesinghe, who will share the ways these sites are preserved through restoration and preservation efforts.
We hope you’ll join us!
Interpreting LGBT Sites in New York City
November 30, 2017 | 6:30 P.M.
Avery Hall, Columbia University
View on Google Maps
The NYC LGBT Historic Project team will be discussing their process of surveying LGBT historic sites throughout the city’s five boroughs. The evening will also include recent successes in recognizing LGBT sites as landmarks as well as next steps for the project. A reception will follow.
Moderated by Ryan Day and Lauren Johnson ’16 M.Arch, Co-Founders, QSPACE
This free event is open to the public and was organized by Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (GSAPP).
It’s Unanimous: Caffe Cino listed on the NY State Register of Historic Places
September 14, 2017
Nearly 60 years after the Caffe Cino opened at 31 Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, we’re thrilled that our nomination of the famed Off-Off-Broadway cafe theater was listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places today!
Joe Cino, an openly gay man, operated “the Cino” in the storefront space from December 1958 to March 1968. In addition to being the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway, the Cino was a pioneer in the development of gay theater and in its support of gay playwrights at a time when depicting homosexuality on stage was illegal. It was also significant as a pre-Stonewall site that gave the LGBT community (predominantly gay white men) the opportunity to meet in a social space that served as an alternative to the bar and bathhouse scenes.
Project manager Amanda Davis, who researched and wrote the nomination over the course of the summer, attended today’s meeting of the New York State Board for Historic Preservation at the beautiful Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site in Yonkers. Kathleen LaFrank, National Register Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, presented the nomination to the review board who unanimously voted to add the Caffe Cino to New York State’s honorary register of historic sites. The NYC LGBT Historic Site Project’s nomination now goes to Washington, D.C. where it will be considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stay tuned for updates in the next couple of months and, in the meantime, check out other sites in New York City that have been listed for their significance to LGBT history, based on our nominations.
Research work was funded, in part, by a grant from the National Park Service Underrepresented Grants Programs, administered through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.