Scores of LGBT Sites Eyed for Landmark Status

  • metta

    Posts: 38626

    Oct 21, 2014 4:31 PM GMT
    Scores of LGBT Sites Eyed for Landmark Status

    A National Park Service project has identified hundreds of potential LGBT sites across America that could someday win federal landmark status.

    The list, which as of late last month was nearing 400 places, runs the gamut from gay bars and bathhouses to places of worship and LGBT community centers. It includes the homes of prominent LGBT individuals, such as the late gay civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin's New York City apartment, and several gayborhoods, such as San Francisco's Castro district and the hamlet of Cherry Grove on New York's Fire Island.


    Five Properties Recognized

    According to park service officials, only five properties in the country have been granted some form of federal historic preservation recognition specifically due to their relationship to LGBT history. In addition to the Stonewall Inn being deemed a National Historic Landmark, there are four sites presently included in the National Register of Historic Places, described by the park service as "the nation's inventory of properties deemed central to its history and worthy of recognition and preservation."

    The quartet comprises the Dr. Franklin E. Kameny Residence in Washington, D.C. (listed 2011); the James Merrill House in Stonington, Conn. (listed 2013); and two Fire Island properties: the Cherry Grove Community House and Theater (listed 2013) and the Carrington House (listed 2014).

    In 1957, Kameny was fired from his federal government job for refusing to answer questions about his sexual orientation. Considered "the father of gay activism," he died in 2011 at the age of 86.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Ingram Merrill, a celebrated American poet who died in 1995 at the age of 68, and his partner, David Noyes Jackson, who died in 2001 at the age of 76, bought their Stonington home in 1956. Merrill wrote almost all of his important works, including 25 volumes of poetry, three plays and two books, while residing in the house.

    The Carrington House is considered "an important link" in Fire Island's development as a gay resort area on the East Coast. The Cherry Grove property opened in 1948 and is considered the country's "longest continuously operating gay and lesbian theater."
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    Oct 22, 2014 12:20 AM GMT
    This is a very good write-up showing why the old Marlin Beach property (sadly demolished--now Beach Place) ought to be included as an LGBT Landmark for Fort Lauderdale.

    I just read that quickly and the only thing I see to edit would be that the "hustlers" mostly were not hustling by choice for the most part. Those were the thrown away kids, tossed out of their homophobic families. I befriended a number of them back in those early days when I was just a kid myself, but raised in an accepting family, so I know this for a fact. That's when I first became so aware of their plight.

    Characterizing them back then as merely hustlers and remembering them now as such couldn't be more off base. Those were desperate kids figuring out how to survive. It wasn't even until the mid 80s that we got the Covenant House down there--I remember them opening--to help some of these kids. They went that decade from the 70s into 80s all on their own. It was a heartbreaking aspect to our then otherwise very fun, emerging community.

    So that was badly remembered in the write up and I thought should be noted. Especially in regard to considering a place for landmark status. Besides the Marlin, the entire strip ought to be named. Kids thrown out of their houses. Families treated them like shit because they were gay. The Fort Lauderdale strip is where they survived. Whether by handout or hustling. It ought to be so honored.
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    Oct 24, 2014 3:03 AM GMT
    I read about this and think it's great.

    Some of the places that should be included (to me) are:

    - The Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, a gay bar where a number of people were killed in a deliberately-set fire

    - All Saints Church in Hoboken, N.J., where one of the first officially-sanctioned outreach ministries for/with gay and lesbian people was founded in 1989 by then-bishop John Shelby Spong

    - The Ansonia Hotel, site of the Continental Baths where Bette Midler and others used to perform. The hotel, built in 1902, is already on the National Register, but the role the Baths played in the early gay scene is worth note.
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    Oct 24, 2014 4:12 AM GMT
    Shouldn't they also include RJ as an historic gay site? It seems to be passing into history.