NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project To Receive Prestigious Trustees’ Award From the National Trust for Historic Preservation
November 4, 2022
By: A.A. Cristi
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project’s work to identify and document NYC’s place-based LGBT history is being honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation today, Friday, November 4th, at 4PM EST with their Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence, one of our field’s highest honors. The award will be given at the PastForward Conference, in a ceremony hosted by old house icon Bob Vila.
“Our Project makes visible historic narratives that have been actively erased or willfully ignored by the larger culture for generations. By reconnecting LGBT history to physical, extant sites, we create a visceral connection that instills pride and fosters a sense of belonging to a larger community. We know this work inspires other marginalized groups whose history is part of the full American story,” said Ken Lustbader, co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.
“This national award helps amplify the importance of documenting LGBT historic places and including these stories in the broader telling of American history. One of our Project’s most rewarding elements is connecting LGBT people around the world to their own history, much of which has long been hidden and intentionally erased. We hope this award encourages people to embrace LGBT history in their communities.” – Amanda Davis, manager of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
“Each year at the PastForward Conference we come together to recognize those making a real difference in historic preservation. This year’s recipients embody not just the preservation of American history, but also demonstrate how preserving historic places can play a key role in addressing critical issues of today, including climate change, equality, and housing.” – Paul Edmondson, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Since its founding in 2015, the Project has now identified, researched and mapped over 400 sites across New York City’s five boroughs which connect the public viscerally to the places – residences, bars and venues, public spaces, and more – where LGBT people have contributed to American culture.
About the Trust’s selection of the Project for the 2022 Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a nationally-recognized and influential cultural heritage initiative and educational resource that identifies and documents diverse extant LGBT sites from the 17th century to 2000. The only permanent organization of its kind in the US, the project staff have created an interactive website, National Register nominations, publications and public programs, and school educational materials, among other resources. Sitting at the intersection of historic preservation and social justice, the organization has been particularly eager to document LGBT sites associated with women and Black, Asian, Latinx, trans, and gender-variant communities. In the near future, they hope to prioritize local sites of LGBT history associated with Indigenous and Two Spirit Peoples.
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, launched in 2015 by preservation professionals, is an award-winning cultural heritage initiative and educational resource documenting and presenting historic sites connected to the LGBT community throughout New York City. Its website, including an interactive map, features over 375 diverse places from the 17th century to 2000 that are important to LGBT history and illustrate the community’s influence on NYC and American culture.
The project researches and nominates LGBT sites to the National Register, advocates for the official recognition of LGBT historic sites, provides walking tours (also accessible through a free-app), presents lectures, engages the community through events, develops educational programs for New York City public school students, and disseminates its content through robust social media channels. Its goal is to make an invisible history visible while fostering pride and awareness.