The historic Stonewall Inn and the nearby Julius, NYC’s oldest gay bar, are both within the Greenwich Village Historic District and any physical changes to the buildings must by approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But the Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation is seeking individual landmark status for both sites to further protect them as icons of LGBT history.
“They’re not getting the explicit protections and recognition that they should be getting,” said Andrew Berman, GVSHP’s executive director. “It’s very, very easy for this history to get lost to the sands of time, and that’s one of the purposes of landmark designation — is to make sure that it’s not lost, that it is recognized.” To ensure that the history of The Stonewall and Julius’ are remembered, Berman wants the LPC to either designate them as individual landmarks or to update the original 1969 landmarking report with more details on the buildings’ cultural significance. “We don’t really want to leave these things to chance,” Berman said. “It should be clear and explicit in terms of the designation reports.” Berman and state Sen. Brad Hoylman recently wrote letters to LPC Chairman Robert Tierney requesting the landmarking changes.
The commission has acknowledged receipt of the requests and basically says they’ll get around to considering it when they have the time.