WALKING TOUR: Lesbian Herstory of Greenwich Village

June 27, 2024 | 6 PM

Under the Arch in Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
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Join us for stroll of Greenwich Village as we explore the lesbian community’s connections to one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods. We’ll cover places that speak to the evolution of the lesbian bar, from the 1910s onward, and gathering spots run by women for women that popped up in the Village in the 1970s. Stops along the way include the former homes of notable lesbians who have helped shape American history and culture.

The tour will last approximately 1 1/2 hours. Meet under the Arch in Washington Square Park. Walking tour will take place rain or shine.

To register groups of 5 or more, please contact us at [email protected].


This is a FUNDRAISING tour; all money raised will support the ongoing work of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

Select events are funded, in part, by grants from Consolidated Edison, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and New York City Tourism Foundation.


STONEWALL: Greenwich Village LGBT History Tour

June 25, 2024 | 6PM

Stonewall National Monument
Christopher Street at West 4th Street, New York, NY
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Pride is celebrated to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising, a key turning point in the LGBT rights movement. In its immediate aftermath, new activist groups emerged fighting for liberation and visibility. However, New York City has a long and vibrant LGBT history dating to the early 20th century. Join Ken Lustbader and Jay Shockley, co-directors of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, and Amanda Davis, project manager, for an LGBT walking tour of Greenwich Village. Starting at the Stonewall National Monument, learn about the LGBT presence in the Bohemian Village and hear about the places and people of the pre- and post-Stonewall LGBT civil rights movement and their lasting impact on American culture. The tour will also highlight the importance of these sites to a marginalized community that oftentimes had nowhere else to go to fully be themselves. Stops will include places connected to such groups as the Salsa Soul Sisters, Mattachine Society, and the Gay Liberation Front, and to the LGBT activists, artists, and business owners who found refuge in the Village since the late 19th century.

To register groups of 5 or more, please contact us at [email protected].



This is a FUNDRAISING tour; all money raised will support the ongoing work of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

Tour starts at Christopher Park / Stonewall National Monument, Christopher Street at West 4th Street, in Greenwich Village. Walking tour will take place rain or shine.

Select events are funded, in part, by grants from Consolidated Edison, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and New York City Tourism Foundation.


TROLLEY TOUR: The Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery

June 22, 2024 | 12 PM

Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Gate at Jerome Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue
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Woodlawn Cemetery and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project celebrate Pride Month with a special trolley tour illuminating LGBT permanent residents who have made a lasting impact on American culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. Join us as we share stories about love, loss, and relationships on our annual tour. We’ll visit the final resting places of Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen, illustrator Joseph Leyendecker, theatrical agent Elisabeth Marbury, and photographer George Platt Lynes. Patricia Cronin’s well-known sculpture “Memorial to a Marriage” is a highlight of this tour. The tour will be co-led by Jay Shockley, Project co-director; Amanda Davis, manager of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project; and Susan Olsen, Director of Historical Services at Woodlawn Cemetery.



Memory-Sharing Meetup at the former Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop

June 21, 2024 | 5 PM

former Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop
15 Christopher Street
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Did you shop at the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop (at either location!)? We’re sounding a “call for memories” from former customers and supporters with an informal memory-sharing meetup and recording session outside the former location of what was the second location of the trailblazing bookstore. All are invited to meet Project manager Amanda Davis and our communications team outside 15 Christopher Street where we’ll record (lo-fi on iPhones) your recollections of this important community space. Swing by for 10 minutes, say hi, share your story!

Credit: Amanda Davis/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2017.

In 1973, Craig Rodwell moved his Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the first gay and lesbian bookstore on the East Coast (and the first of its kind in the nation to operate long term), from its original home on Mercer Street to a prominent location on Christopher Street, near the center of New York City’s gay life. The shop, which also served as a vital community center, occupied this site for over 35 years.


ARTISTIC HOMES: Queer Landmarks and Public Interpretation

June 20, 2024 | 6:30 PM

Drawing Room of the New York Studio School, 8 West 8th St, New York, NY

LGBTQ artists have played a major role in influencing American cultural life, yet their personal identities are typically not presented when visitors explore their historic studios and homes.

Efforts to correct these omissions are at the forefront of the movement to landmark and celebrate significant LGBTQ sites, including historic house museums. Many of these sites are now working to document and interpret the one-time residents to reflect their true lives, loves, friendships, and influences. The process from research, through official designation, to changes in public programs and interpretation is a complex journey and the reception in local communities can vary. In this Pride Month, three historic house museums in the art and design worlds—The Glass House, the Alice Austen House, and the Demuth Museum—are coming together to discuss this process and how telling the full story of their history has been received.

The event will be moderated by Ken Lustbader, co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.



Abby Baer, Executive Director, Demuth Museum
Victoria Munro, Executive Director, Alice Austen House
Kirsten Reoch, Executive Director, The Glass House

For discounted student tickets ($15), please enter promotional code GHPSTUDENT when making reservations. In partnership with Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Hosted by the New York Studio School.

Photo: Glass House, exterior.


NJ History & Historic Preservation Conference

June 6, 2024 | 1:30 PM

Gothic Lounge (Conference Room 202 in Hepburn Hall), New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

Panel: LGBTQ+ Historic Sites: Featuring the Venus Pellagatti Xtravaganza House

The State of New Jersey has a rich LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) history, yet the numerous historic sites associated with these places, events, and people are often not recognized or preserved. Throughout the country, the historic preservation profession is striving to weave more of these important threads into our cultural narrative. This session highlights the 2023 Jersey City local designation of the Venus Pellagatti Xtravaganza House, the first LGBTQ designated site in New Jersey. Panelists will discuss Venus’ story, explore ballroom culture, and investigate the challenges and opportunities in identifying and commemorating LGBTQ site-based resources more widely.


MODERATOR: Ken Lustbader | Project co-director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

PRESENTERS: Daniella Carter| LGBTQ+ youth advocate, director and producer
Michael Roberson| public health practitioner, advocate, activist, artist and community leader

On Harvey Milk Day, remember his New York roots

May 22, 2024
By: Matt Tracy

Harvey Milk sits at Mayor George Moscone’s desk in 1978.

The late Harvey Milk became known for his work in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco: That was where he opened a business, built political power, and made history when he won an election to become a city supervisor. As the nation marks Harvey Milk Day on May 22, many pictures circulating social media show him engaging in gay rights activism against the backdrop of the Bay area.

However, what is not as widely known is that the gay political icon spent the first four decades of his life in New York State. He grew up in Long Island — first in Nassau County before graduating high school in Suffolk County — and went on to attend college at what is now known as SUNY Albany, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree. He later became a teacher in Long Island and worked in finance in Manhattan.

Some of Milk’s earliest known gay experiences were based in New York City. According to Randy Shilts’ book, “The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk,” Milk met his future partner, Joe Campbell, in the summer of 1956 at Riis Beach — a popular oceanside LGBTQ hangout spot in Queens.

“A few weeks later, Joe left home and moved into Harvey Milk’s apartment in suburban Rego Park,” the book stated (Rego Park is actually within the confines of Queens).

Years before that, in 1947, Milk was busted for cruising in Central Park, according to Shilts.

When he was still in New York, Milk was also romantically involved with Craig Rodwell, who founded the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop and made waves as a gay rights activist, participating in demonstrations such as the “sip-in” at Julius’ Bar that helped eliminate state liquor policies barring the sale of alcohol to gay people. Milk met Rodwell in Central Park, Shilts wrote.

Milk subsequently moved several times — even returning to New York — as he continued to refine his identity before settling in San Francisco.

Milk made his mark on the Big Apple — and the non-profit NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project outlined several places in the city associated with Milk during the years before he went out west.

One of the historic sites is 360 Central Park West, where Milk and Campbell lived in an apartment from 1958 to 1962, according to the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, which noted that Milk lived there for another year after the couple broke up. The apartment was across the street from Central Park on a street corner near W. 96th St., just steps from what is now the 96th St. B and C subway station.

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project also lists Central Park as one of the locations tied to Milk — which makes sense given that Milk was arrested there for cruising and where he met Rodwell. Central Park is also historically known as a popular cruising spot for gay men.

Another location associated with Milk is 2 Astor Pl., which was where Milk posthumously made what was arguably his most significant contribution to New York’s LGBTQ community. That location later became the site of Harvey Milk High School thanks to the work of the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth, which later became the Hetrick Martin Institute.

One more historic site with links to Milk is 112 E. 3rd St., which was where the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth opened its first office — ultimately paving the way for the school that would be named after Milk.

While he led a quieter life in New York, Milk embraced his sexuality and became more visible once he moved to San Francisco. In 1977, he became the first out gay man elected to public office in California, but he was assassinated a year later when he and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by City Supervisor Dan White.