Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center to open next week, marking 55th anniversary of historic uprising

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Renderings courtesy of EDG Architecture + Engineering

The first visitor center in the National Park Service dedicated to the gay rights movement officially opens in Greenwich Village next week. Overseen by the advocacy group Pride Live and the NPS, the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will open its doors on June 28, marking the 55th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. Located next to the Stonewall Inn tavern on Christopher Street, the 2,100-square-foot center offers an immersive look into LGBTQIA+ history and the fight for equality for all, with engaging programs, art installations, lectures, and more.

On June 28, 1969, police officers violently raided the Stonewall Inn. While police raids were common during that time, on this day, patrons and the city’s gay community rebelled, sparking protests around the bar that stretched nearly a week. The rebellion is seen as the catalyst for the national LGTBQ+ rights movement.

The city’s first Gay Pride Parade was held in 1970 to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and in 1990, the Stonewall Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark. After a restoration, the bar reopened in 1993 and remains a symbol of the LGBT rights movement today.

In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the site, including the bar, Christopher Park, and surrounding streets, as a national monument.

At the time of the uprising, the Stonewall Inn occupied both 51 and 53 Christopher Street, where the bar still stands. The new visitor center will open at 51 Christopher Street, which has long been vacant; the interior passageway between the two spaces has been closed.

Designed by EDG Architecture & Engineering, the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will host in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions, a dedicated theater space, and visual arts displays. Upon entry, guests will be guided through a learning experience targeted at today’s generations, encouraging them to carry the torch of Stonewall’s legacy and the fight for equality.

The SNMVC will also serve as a home base for dedicated Stonewall National Monument park rangers.

The project was conceptualized six years ago by Pride Live co-founders Diana Rodriguez and Ann Marie Gothard, who were devoted to celebrating and preserving the legacy of the Stonewall Inn.

“The journey to create the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center has been a truly remarkable and landmark moment. This required the tireless support of countless partners who are deeply committed to preserving history,” Ann Marie Gothard, chair of the Board of Directors at Pride Live, said.

“With the opening of the Visitor Center, we pay homage to the brave individuals behind the historic Stonewall Rebellion. We hope it stands as an enduring and resilient symbol and serves as a beacon for generations to come, providing the unique opportunity to step foot on the site where history unfolded and where the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality was ignited.”

The project broke ground in June 2022. Major financial supporters include the Mellon Foundation, a founding partner of the visitor center, Google, Amazon, AARP, Hudson Yards, JPMorgan Chase, and celebrities like Adam Lambert, Christina Aguilera, Elton John and David Furnish, and Donatella Versace, among others.

“The National Park Service eagerly anticipates the official opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center in partnership with Pride Live on June 28,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said. “NPS staff are dedicated to sharing the history of the Stonewall Uprising and the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ equality.”

The grand opening of the visitor center will take place on Friday, June 28. Admission is free. Make a reservation here.

RELATED:

Renderings courtesy of EDG Architecture + Engineering

Get Insider Updates with Our Newsletter!



Source link

You may also like