TAKE ACTION: Write a letter supporting LPC designation of the Julius’ Bar Building

November 11, 2022

"Speak up!"Great news! Thanks to our advocacy efforts, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing next Tuesday, November 15th, to consider the proposed Individual Landmark designation of the Julius’ Bar Building, in Manhattan, the site of the game-changing public action of the Mattachine Society: the 1966 “Sip-In.” The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has advocated for this designation for over seven years.

Write a letter of support: please add your voice to the record in support of designating this culturally significant LGBT historic site! Together, we can show the Commission and the City that the LGBT community and its allies support the designation of this important historic resource.

We’ve provided a sample letter below, but whatever you write should state why you believe the Julius’ Bar is culturally significant and deserving of designation. Email your letter to LPC Chair, Sarah Carroll, at [email protected], by noon on Monday, November 14th.

to be presented at public hearing on October 25, 2022


Sample letter:

Hon. Sarah Carroll, Chair
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY  10007

Re: Letter of Support for Julius’ as New York City Landmark

Dear Chair Carroll,

I strongly support the designation of the Julius’ bar building as a New York City Landmark. Recognizing LGBT historic sites is imperative, especially at a time when there has been increased discrimination and legal pushback against the LGBT community and the teaching of its history across the United States.

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project informed me that your agency has proposed to landmark the Julius’ bar building. Julius’ early role in the history of LGBT activism dates to April 21, 1966, when the Mattachine Society, the city’s first “homophile” group, organized an event to challenge the State Liquor Authority’s discriminatory policy of revoking the licenses of bars that served known or suspected gay men and lesbians. The group was refused service by the bartender at Julius’ after they intentionally revealed they were “homosexuals.” Later referred to as a Sip-In, the Mattachine action was particularly important because bars were one of the few places where gay people could meet each other in the pre-Stonewall era. The publicized event, with press photographers in tow, was the first to capture LGBT discrimination in real time and was one of the earliest public actions for LGBT rights in the nation. It was also a big step forward in the eventual development of legitimate LGBT bars in New York City.

I am thrilled that the LPC has already landmarked the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 uprising, and has taken the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project’s further recommendations into consideration by landmarking, in 2019, the Audre Lorde Residence, Caffe Cino, Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center, and Women’s Liberation Center.

Please continue your work to honor LGBT history and safeguard it for future generations by designating the Julius’ bar building a New York City Landmark. This and future designations of other LGBT historic sites will further demonstrate to the world that the LGBT community’s history is an invaluable asset to New York City and that it is worth preserving and celebrating.