Review of the history and significance of four LGBTQ sites newly listed by the National Trust for Historic Places | New

Preserving spaces is integral to sustaining America’s gay communities and remembering the hard work of their members in the physical establishment. places of resistance in the face of judicial repression, violence and generational intolerance. Terms like “Gay power” convey the desire for visibility in these spaces that have evolved due to their fiercely contested existence. Today, they serve as a rallying cry for different scholarly interventions initiated to protect the significant history of queer history in the United States.

In honor of the list of Pride celebrations taking place in June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation continues to expand documentary research of these sites. Thanks to the 2016 National Park Service Influencer Thematic study which identified several new sites to be proposed to join the group’s two official heritage designations, four new sites have been added to the list since its initial publication.

The cover of the LGBTQ America publication. Designed by Beth Pruitt. Image courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In an update released by the Trust this week, the chairman of the board of the Hampton, Va.-based company Rainbow Heritage Network, Jeffrey A. “Free” Harris, detailed the need to include each of the four sites, which he said “represents the diversity that exists within the LGBTQ community as a whole.” This final set of historic sites joins the historic Stonewall Inn on the National registerwhich was added in 1999.

Related on Archinect: The Enduring Importance of Gay Bars in American Cities

“Historically, these historic places have been allowed to exist in communities that have often been overlooked, forgotten, or not considered ‘desirable.’ And, as we know from historic preservation, neighborhood change can visit cities and towns, and that change often happens for the most marginalized communities,” says Harris. “There has been a lot of loss among LGBTQ historic places, and the scholarship we have often shows what once was. Yet one of the best aspects of the scholarship that has been produced is that places that have not been lost will have a chance of survival and possible preservation/adaptive reuse.

Below is a list of the four newly added historic sites contextualized by Harris since the thematic study was published.

Residence Lorraine HansberryNew York City (Enrolled in 2021)

Image Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2020/ Courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The description: Hansberry, a playwright and activist, wrote the play “A Raisin in the Sun” while living in this residence. She was also an activist in the civil rights movement, working with a coalition of African-American artists to advance this cause.

The Slowe Burrill HouseWashington, DC (Enrolled in 2020)

Image Farragutful via Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0/Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons User Farragutful (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The description: Lucy Diggs Slowe was Dean of Women at Howard University and a leader in the education of African-American women in the early 20th century, and Mary Burrill was a teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, one of the top high schools in the nation. . in his days.

Denver’s First Unitary SocietyDenver, Colorado (Joined 2017)

Image courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The description: The church was the site of the first gay marriage ceremony in Colorado in 1975. It was also the home, briefly, of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies (a denomination that affirms the LGBTQ community).

Darcelle XVPortland, Oregon (Enrolled in 2021)

Dan Dickinson image via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0 / Courtesy of Oregon State Historic Preservation Office

The description: Jhe eponymous drag club is one of the oldest clubs in continuous operation with the owner (Walter Cole/Darcelle) still in business. The club opened in 1967.

Harris added, “I’m confident there will be continued growth in the number of designated historic places associated with the LGBTQ community in the years to come. The momentum is there.”

More details on the thematic study on LGBTQ heritage can be read here.

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