National Monument to Historic Stonewall Inn to Open Visitor Center – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN)-A visitor center will open next to the iconic Stonewall Inn to honor and preserve the history of the fight for LGBTQ rights, the non-profit Pride Live announced Tuesday.

The 3,700-square-foot center in New York City is slated to open in the summer of 2024 after groundbreaking on Friday, according to Pride Live, the LGBTQ advocacy group that will jointly manage it with the National Parks Service.

“The opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center is a remarkable moment in the history of Stonewall,” said Ann Marie Gothard, CEO of Pride Live. “We honor all who have come before us, especially the queer people fighting for equality in the Stonewall Rebellion.”

CNN has reached out to the National Park Service for comment.

The center is the latest attempt to recognize the legacy of the 1969 Stonewall riots. While the Stonewall Inn continues to operate as a bar, the area around it was Appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2016 as the country’s first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.

That monument includes Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were sites of the 1969 Stonewall Riot.

The Stonewall Inn opened in 1967 as a gay club in the heart of Manhattan’s bohemian Greenwich Village. At the time, New York was notorious for its strict enforcement of anti-gay laws, which made it risky for gays to gather in public.

When police searched the bar on June 28, 1969, their patrons arrived, including black and Latino trans icons Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, fought back.

After police arrested many Stonewall patrons that morning, people protested outside the bar for weeks. These protests are often seen as a flashpoint for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

The uprising became the catalyst for a burgeoning gay rights movement, as organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed along the lines of the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement. Members protested, met with political leaders, and disrupted public gatherings to hold those leaders accountable. That first pride march was held to celebrate Stonewall’s one year anniversary.

The new visitor center will be located at 51 Christopher Street, which is adjacent to where the Stonewall Inn is currently located. This space was originally part of the Stonewall in 1969, the group says.

The center will offer in-person and virtual tours, as well as art exhibits, and will also be the home base for the monument’s National Park Service staff.

Pride Live said the visitor center is and will be funded by donations. A number of companies, including Google, AARP, Target and Amazon, have provided funding, the group says.

In a statement, Home Secretary Deb Haaland said the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center “will serve as a place where the LGBTQ community can safely gather to celebrate and commemorate their hard-fought history.”

Later this month, hundreds will march past Stonewall National Monument during the city’s Pride celebration.

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https://whdh.com/news/the-national-monument-for-the-historic-stonewall-inn-will-open-a-visitor-center/ National Monument to Historic Stonewall Inn to Open Visitor Center – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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