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June 2, 2015


Stonewall Landmarking Gets Initial Approval, Public Hearing June 23rd

Community Board Public Hearings on Citywide Upzoning Plan June 10th

GVSHP Annual Meeting and Village Awards June 17th - Reserve a Seat!


Stonewall Landmarking Gets Initial Approval, Public Hearing June 23rdhttp://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/enews/img/Stonewal_FINAL.jpg

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).  

Read GVSHP full press release and statement regarding today’s vote here; see video of today’s Stonewall presentation and vote here.

The 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 gotten 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.  

In 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.

While 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.  

Several 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 here.


Community Board Public Hearings on Citywide Upzoning Plan June 10th:


http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/enews/img/nychousing.pngPreliminary 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 concerned about 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%. 

The City 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.

The 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 Community Boards.  

You can find out more about the proposal hereherehere, and 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. 

The 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 Murray.  

This 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.

http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/enews/img/annual-m-sm.jpgGVSHP will 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.

The 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.



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