overview

Greenwich Village has a long and diverse history that has made it an important epicenter of LGBT life in New York City.

In the pre-Stonewall years, amidst an atmosphere of fear and repression, gay bars and other social gathering spaces were crucial in creating a sense of community and brewing political agitation.

This curated theme highlights a few sites near Stonewall, all of which are included in a walking tour brochure that we produced in collaboration with the National Parks Conservation Association.

See the overall map of Greenwich Village for sites we have added so far.

Header Photo
Stonewall Inn, September 9, 1969. Photo by Diana Davies. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Featured Historic Sites ( 15 )

A
59 Christopher Street

In 1972, the Mattachine Society of New York, the city’s first gay rights group, mostly for men, moved its office downtown to Christopher Street, which had become increasingly popular after... Learn More

B
Christopher Park

This flagpole is named for the first officer to be killed during the Civil War, Union Army Col. Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth. C.A. Tripp, in The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln (2005), posited... Learn More

C
Christopher Park

Located just across from the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park has been at the center of the LGBT rights movement since the historic 1969 uprising. The park was included within the... Learn More

D
70 Grove Street

The commercial space of this building held several lesbian bars from the 1970s to the 1990s, beginning with the Duchess in 1972. Pandora’s Box, the last lesbian bar to occupy... Learn More

E
48-52 Eighth Avenue

By at least 1955 through the 1960s, the Sea Colony was one of the most popular lesbian bars in Greenwich Village. A favorite of author and activist Joan Nestle, among... Learn More

F
457 Sixth Avenue

This rowhouse near the Jefferson Market police court (now the Jefferson Market Library) was the last residence and office of well-known Tammany politico Murray H. Hall, who today would be... Learn More

G
116 7th Avenue South

Stewart’s Cafeteria, later the Life Cafeteria, was located in this Greenwich Village building in the 1930s and attracted a bohemian and gay and lesbian following. The large plate glass windows... Learn More

H
291 Mercer Street

Gay rights activist Craig Rodwell established the East Coast’s first gay and lesbian bookstore (and the first one in the nation to operate long term), named in memory of Oscar... Learn More

I
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

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

K
215 West 10th Street

In 1970, less than a year after Stonewall, the police raided the Snake Pit bar and detained many people at the local police station. After one person attempted to escape... Learn More

L
Washington Place, west of Sixth Avenue

New York City’s first ever Pride March was held on Sunday, June 28, 1970 (the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising), and, much to the organizers’ surprise, attracted thousands of... Learn More

M
530 Sixth Avenue / 69 West 14th Street

After the Stonewall rebellion in June 1969, the first LGBT activist organization formed was the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), in July. GLF used Alternate U., a free counterculture school and... Learn More

N
15 Christopher Street

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... Learn More

O
Christopher Street Pier

For over a century, the Greenwich Village waterfront along the Hudson River, including the Christopher Street Pier at West 10th and West Streets, has been a destination for the LGBT... 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

18 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

20 Sites

Gay Activists Alliance

13 Sites

The Harlem Renaissance

12 Sites

Jewish New York

19 Sites

Pre-20th Century History

24 Sites

Bars & Nightlife

13 Sites

Activism Before Stonewall

23 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

14 Sites

Art & Architecture

10 Sites

National Register Listings

21 Sites

Spotlight on the Theater