Historic Stonewall

The birthplace of the modern gay civil rights movement granted landmark status

StonewallAs New York and the world celebrate Pride this month, New York’s Stonewall Inn has been granted landmark status, protecting it from future development.

Yesterday, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to grant landmark status to the Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar, where resistance to a police raid in the early hours of 28 June 1969 had sparked the modern gay civil rights movement.

The raid sparked riots spanning several nights, known as the Stonewall Riots which heralded the beginning of a modern movement for LGBT equality. The first ever Sydney Mardi Gras march, on 24 June 1978, was timed to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, and was also met with severe police violence.

Today, the Stonewall Riots is commemorated by Pride Festivals around the world and it’s fitting that this decision would be made during these celebrations.

The Stonewall Inn is the first building in New York City to receive landmark status because of its significance to LGBT history.

Although the Inn was already part of the city-designated Greenwich Village Historic District, and it also has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, supporters argued a landmark designation was necessary to preserve the Stonewall and recognise its historic importance.

Martin Boyce, a ‘Stonewall veteran’, addressed the commission noting when he was younger resources on LGBT history and literature were scarce.

The granting of the landmark status to the Stonewall Inn is a step in the right direction to ensure the preservation of the cultural legacy of the LGBT community and the gay civil rights movement.

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