LGBTQ+ PUBLIC SPACES: Preservation of Historic Queer Landscapes

February 22, 2023 | 6:30 PM


A group of women at the beach in Riis Park, 1960s.

FREE to all; please consider a suggested donation $5 or more.


Outdoor public spaces are historically tied to the LGBTQ+ community and have been important places for community gathering, cruising and sex, mobilization, and celebration. These locations – parks, streetscapes, and beaches, to name a few – are where the queer community have appropriated spaces for survival and existence as well as for queer activism. However, in many cities throughout the country, these queer spaces, queer stories, and queer memories have largely gone undocumented and unappreciated. This presentation will explore the often unrecognized and untold stories and histories of LGBTQ+ people within the public spaces and landscapes we see everyday. Included will be a focus on New York City public spaces.

Join Project co-director Ken Lustbader with and Max Dickson, landscape designer and planner at OLIN, as they discuss the history of queer public spaces, share local and national case studies including New York City spaces such as Riis Beach and the Stonewall National Monument at Christopher Park, and explore the role of preservationists and designers in increasing the overall visibility of culturally significant LGBTQ+ landscapes.

Olin logoThis live virtual presentation will be co-sponsored by landscape architecture and urban planning studio, OLIN. OLIN works internationally on projects ranging in size from large-scale master planning to mid-sized institutions to small urban interventions. OLIN’s celebrated projects in New York City include Bryant Park, Battery Park City, and the newly opened Pier 26 at Hudson River Park. Since 2020, Max has led a research and advocacy initiative, “PrideScapes”, through OLIN’s internal research group, OLIN Labs. Labs seeks to grow the impact of the landscape architectural profession through original research, thought leadership, and by building platforms for purpose-driven collaboration and activism.

Photo: A group of women at the beach in Riis Park, 1960s. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.