Beloved Julius' Bar Recommended To Be NY State Historical Site

One of the oldest bars in Manhattan, as well as one of the city's oldest gay bars, Julius' was named as one of New York State Board for Historic Preservation's recommendations to be added to State and National Registers of Historic Places. Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "These landmarks are a part of our rich and storied history and helped define what it means to be a New Yorker."

According to the governor's office, Julius' Bar is "one of the city's oldest bars in continuous operation, the Greenwich Village establishment was the site of an important 1966 event in the early modern gay rights movement in which activists organized what became known as a 'sip-in' to successfully challenge New York State Liquor Authority regulations that prohibited bars from serving drinks to known or suspected gay men or lesbians."

As Scott Simon explained on NPR, "The Mattachine Society was one of the first gay rights groups in the country. And on April 21 of 1966 the society decided to take inspiration from the civil rights sit-ins that integrated so many lunch counters in restaurants and stage a 'sip-in': go into a tavern, declared that [they] were gay, order a drink, then wait to be served or turned away, and then sue." Three men were refused drinks at Julius'; the next day, the Times ran an article with the headline, "3 DEVIATES INVITE EXCLUSION BY BARS; But They Visit Four Before Being Refused Service, in a Test of S.L.A. Rules"

State Senator Brad Hoylman said of the recommendation, "LGBT history is American history. An important part of that history is Julius’ Bar, one of the oldest gay bars in the city. By including Julius' on the state and national historic registries, we'll help ensure that future generations can be inspired by the events that occurred at Julius' Bar and propelled the LGBT civil rights movement forward. I'm grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for their work in nominating Julius' Bar and preserving LGBT history throughout Greenwich Village." Hoylman has also been advocating for Julius' to be granted landmark status.

If Julius' is added to the State and National Registers, the bar can apply for grants and tax credits to preserve itself.

Other proposed historic sites include Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church, now Salem United Methodist Church, in Harlem and Beth Olam Cemetery in Brooklyn and Queens.

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