overview

In 1999, the team that would later found the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project successfully nominated the Stonewall Inn to the National Register of Historic Places, the first site to ever be listed on the register for its significance to LGBT history. Overseen by the National Park Service, the National Register is an honorary federal list that includes over 93,500 sites across the country, yet the LGBT community remains vastly underrepresented with less than twenty sites. Building on our Stonewall nomination, this curated theme highlights our ongoing efforts to nominate more LGBT sites to the National Register.

Sites below have also been listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, which leads the country in nominations that specifically call out LGBT history. We are pleased to be working with the New York State Historic Preservation Office to ensure that the LGBT community’s contributions to American history are recognized on both the state and national registers.

Our work has been funded, in part, by a lead grant from the National Park Service Underrepresented Communities Grant Program to add diversity to the National Register.

Header Photo
Celebrating our project’s amendment to the Alice Austen House’s National Register listing to include the site’s LGBT history, Alice Austen House, Staten Island, June 20, 2017. Left to right: Joshua Laird, Commissioner of National Parks of New York Harbor; Michael Lynch, Director of the Division for Historic Preservation Services, New York State Historic Preservation Office; Amanda Davis, project manager; Janice Monger, then-Executive Director of the Alice Austen House Museum; Joan E. Biren, keynote speaker; Ken Lustbader, project co-director; and Kathleen LaFrank, National Register Coordinator, New York State Historic Preservation Office. Not pictured: Andrew Dolkart and Jay Shockley, project co-directors.

Featured Historic Sites ( 10 )

A
243 West 20th Street

In the early 1970s, the Women’s Liberation Center was founded as an important meeting space for many women’s groups, including those that specifically served the lesbian community. The Center operated... Learn More

B
337 Bleecker Street

From 1953 to 1960, playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry resided in the third-floor apartment of this building. While here, Hansberry lived parallel lives: one as the celebrated playwright of A Raisin... Learn More

C
137 West 71st Street

Literary icon and civil rights activist James Baldwin used this Upper West Side remodeled rowhouse as his New York City residence from 1965 until his death in 1987. Although he... Learn More

D
296 Ninth Avenue

From 1969 to 1974, the Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea was one of the most important meeting places in New York City for organizations of the early post-Stonewall... Learn More

E
116th Street & Broadway

The Student Homophile League, the first gay student organization in the country, was founded at Columbia University in 1966 and held many of its activities in Earl Hall. In 1970,... Learn More

F
31 Cornelia Street

The Caffe Cino is widely recognized as the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway theater and was located on the ground floor of this building from 1958 to 1968. It is also highly... Learn More

G
2 Hylan Boulevard

Pioneering female photographer Alice Austen grew up in her family’s home where she later lived with schoolteacher Gertrude Tate, her partner of 53 years. Austen’s work includes early images of... Learn More

H
159 West 10th Street

On April 21, 1966, a “Sip-In” was organized by members of the Mattachine Society, one of the country’s earliest gay rights organizations, to challenge the State Liquor Authority’s discriminatory policy... Learn More

I
Building 7, Penn South

Bayard Rustin, one of the most important yet little-known figures of the Black civil rights movement, lived in an apartment in this Chelsea building complex from 1962 to 1987 (his... Learn More

J
51-53 Christopher Street

From June 28 to July 3, 1969, LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn and members of the local community took the unusual action of fighting back during a routine police... Learn More

Other Curated Themes

7 Sites

Transgender History

25 Sites

Gay-Owned Businesses

17 Sites

Communities of Color

24 Sites

Activism Outside Manhattan

18 Sites

Literary New York

13 Sites

Downtown Arts Scene

21 Sites

City of Immigrants

17 Sites

1970s Lesbian Activism & Community

7 Sites

The Bronx

8 Sites

Brooklyn Heights

7 Sites

Jackson Heights

12 Sites

Staten Island

10 Sites

Why We March

15 Sites

Village Pride Tour

20 Sites

Gay Activists Alliance

13 Sites

The Harlem Renaissance

12 Sites

Jewish New York

18 Sites

Pre-20th Century History

23 Sites

Bars & Nightlife

13 Sites

Activism Before Stonewall

22 Sites

Homophobia & Transphobia

43 Sites

Broadway Theater District

11 Sites

Influential Black New Yorkers

13 Sites

Early Community Centers

13 Sites

Lesbian Life Before Stonewall

11 Sites

The AIDS Crisis

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

15 Sites

Art & Architecture

21 Sites

Spotlight on the Theater