Stonewall Landmarking Gets
Initial Approval, Public Hearing June 23rd
Capping a year
and half campaign spearheaded by the Greenwich Village Society for
Historic Preservation (GVSHP), today the New York City Landmarks
Preservation Commission voted unanimously to calendar, or formally
consider for landmark designation, the Stonewall Inn at 51-53
Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. The public hearing on the landmarking proposal will be held on Tuesday, June
23rd. On that day the public
will be allowed to testify and a final vote on landmark designation may
take place. The Stonewall Inn would become New York City’s first “LGBT
landmark,” or the first site landmarked solely for its connection to
LGBT history. GVSHP first proposed the Stonewall Inn and three other
sites connected to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)
history for landmark designation a year and a half ago, and along with
elected officials, other preservation groups, and LGBT organizations,
has been urging the Commission to take this step (see here and here).
GVSHP full press release and statement regarding today’s vote here;
see video of today’s Stonewall presentation and vote here.
other three LGBT history sites GVSHP has proposed for designation are Julius' Bar at 159 West 10th Street;
the LGBT Community Center at 208 West 13th Street; and the former Gay
Activists Alliance Firehouse at 99 Wooster Street. GVSHP has already
Julius’ Bar determined eligible for the State and National Registers of
Historic Places, but the City has not yet committed to consider
this or any of the other sites for landmark designation.
1999, GVSHP co-nominated the Stonewall Inn and surrounding streets
where the 1969 riots took place for the
State and National Registers of Historic Places, making it the
first site ever recognized by State or Federal government for its role
in relation to LGBT history.
the Landmarks Preservation Commission has agreed to take this first
step to landmark the Stonewall Inn, in recent years the Commission has
often been unwilling
to consider sites of great significance to LGBT history for
landmark designation, and allowed them to be demolished. These include
an 1820 rowhouse at 186
Spring Street and the
Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments at 133-139 MacDougal Street.
GVSHP called upon the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect
both, and at GVSHP’s request both buildings were determined
eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
But in both cases the Landmarks Preservation refused to landmark them,
and 186 Spring Street was demolished,
and the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments were largely
demolished by NYU to make way for law school offices.
elected officials, historic preservation organizations, and LGBT groups
have been part of the campaign to seek landmark protections for Stonewall
and for other New York City LGBT history sites, and thousands of
individuals have written to the City in support of GVSHP proposal for
landmark designation – see letters of support here and
Community Board Public Hearings on Citywide Upzoning Plan June 10th:
Preliminary presentations and public hearings will
be held on Wednesday, June 10th, at both Community Board #2 (Greenwich
Village, NoHo, SoHo, Little Italy) and Community Board #3 (East
Village, Lower East Side) regarding the city’s ‘Zoning for Quality and
Affordability’ plan, which would allow taller and larger developments
in residential neighborhoods citywide. GVSHP is very
this proposal, which has been scaled back
slightly recently but
still would do tremendous damage to the scale and character of our
neighborhoods, while doing little or nothing to improve the quality or
affordability of housing produced. We strongly urge anyone who cares about this
issue to attend the public hearings, find out more, and let our
Community Boards and the City know that you do not want our
neighborhood zoning protections weakened, as this plan would do.
The Mayor’s plan would
loosen height limits for new construction in residential neighborhoods,
in most cases for purely market rate (i.e. luxury condo) developments.
The plan would even further loosen the height limits for those
developments in certain areas which set aside a small fraction of units
for affordable housing. The height increases would be as great as 31%.
claims that by allowing developers to build taller buildings, they will
increase the quality of their designs. And the City claims that
by further increasing the allowable height of new developments
containing a fraction of senior or ‘affordable’ housing, more
developers will chose to build these types of units. But there is
little or no evidence to indicate that either the quality or
affordability of the housing produced will improve at all, while there
will clearly be a loss of light, air, sky, scale, and neighborhood
character resulting from these zoning rule changes.
City has released profiles with greater details on how the plan will
affect each neighborhood, including Community
Board #2 and Community
Board #3; you can also see profiles for all
You can find out more about the
proposal here, here, here,
GVSHP Annual meeting and Village Awards June
17th - Reserve A Seat!
Reserve a seat now while you
still can for GVSHP’s Annual Meeting and Village Awards Presentation at
the beautiful interior
landmarked auditorium at The New School’s original building at 66
West 12th Street on Wednesday, June 17th.
evening will be a wonderful celebration of GVSHP’s accomplishments over
the last year, and of six inspiring recipients of this year’s Village
awards; they are longtime Village craftswoman Barbara Schaum; recently reborn Village institution Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks; trailblazing activist David
Rothenberg; treasured art repository the Renee & Chaim Gross
Foundation; the beautiful restoration of 201 East 12th Street; and
authors, photographers, and storefront documentarians James & Karla
year’s Annual Meeting and Awards, co-sponsored by The New School, will
once again be emcee’d by noted humorist and
author (and GVSHP Board of Advisors member) Calvin Trillin.
be profiling each of our awardees on our blog as we approach the 17th; read
now to find out more about what makes Bonnie
Slotnick Cookbooks and craftswoman Barbara
Schaum so special – if you don’t know
already! Read or watch video of our 2014 Annual Meeting and Awards here, and
our 2013 Annual Meeting and Awards here.
ceremony will be followed by a reception. All are welcome, but
you must RSVP to ensure that a seat will be available. To do so, call
(212) 475-9585 ext. 35, or email.