Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 08, 2014

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868

New York State Awarded Grant to Recognize LGBT Heritage

Historic and cultural sites associated with Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LGBT) heritage in New York City will be surveyed and documented by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) under a $49,999 grant from the National Park Service. Funding comes from the federal Historic Preservation Fund to assist states in their efforts to broaden the inclusion of under-represented communities in statewide inventories of historic properties and the National Register of Historic Places.

"We are grateful for the National Park Service's support to illuminate this important aspect of our state's diverse heritage and to continue New York State's leadership in advancing recognition of the LGBT civil rights movement," said Rose Harvey, State Parks Commissioner.

The LGBT community at large is among the least represented in national, state and local historic designation programs. Only three of the 87,000 National Register of Historic Places nominations in the country have been listed for their primary association with LGBT history – and two of those are in New York State. The Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village site of civil rights riots in 1969, was the first site in the country listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the LGBT civil rights movement. The Cherry Grove Playhouse and Theater on Fire Island was listed in 2013.

The grant will enable a project team led by a steering committee of historians, architectural historians and preservationists to survey and document historic and cultural sites that reflect the varied histories of LGBT communities in all five boroughs across New York City. The survey will also identify LGBT themes associated with individual buildings and districts that have previously been recognized by the National Register and local designations. The goal is to complete a comprehensive survey and evaluation of site-specific locations in New York City related to LGBT history by late 2016/early 2017 that will serve as a model for communities nationwide.

The National Park Service announcement is available here.

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