Plans to open the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center were revealed Thursday by Pride Live, a social advocacy and community engagement organization for the LGBTQ community. Set to become the first LGBTQ visitor center within the National Parks Service, the center is scheduled to open in the summer of 2024 and will occupy nearly 3,700 square feet at 51 Christopher Street in New York.
The private groundbreaking ceremony will be livestreamed at YouTube.com/c/pridelive on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Founding sponsors of the SNMVC include Google, the first corporate partner to sign on; The Kors Le Pere Foundation; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; AARP; Target Corp.; David Yurman; Amazon Inc.; National Football League; Elle DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi; Lana and Lilly Wachowski; United Therapeutics; New York Yankees, and global activist and ally Josephine Skriver.
When the Stonewall Rebellion took place on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was made up of two locations: 53 Christopher Street, where the current Stonewall Inn bar is located today, and 51 Christopher Street. The future home of the SNMVC at 51 Christopher Street will reunite the historical Stonewall Inn and memorialize the events of the Stonewall Rebellion in their authentic locations.
The SNMVC will offer an immersive experience welcoming all people to explore and experience LGBTQ history and culture through in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions and visual arts displays. It will also serve as the home base for the dedicated National Park Service Rangers, who are responsible for the preservation of the Stonewall National Monument.
“The opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center is a remarkable moment in the history of Stonewall,” said Ann Marie Gothard, president of the Pride Live board. “We honor all those who came before us, most especially the queer people fighting for equality at the Stonewall Riots. The designation as a national monument and the opening of this visitor center will commemorate their important legacy in the gay rights movement, and we hope will inspire future generations to continue fighting for LGBTQ+ equality.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The new Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will serve as an important memorial for the Stonewall Uprising, an iconic and pivotal moment in the essential effort to fully realize America’s founding ideal that we are all created equal. I’m proud New York will be home to the first LBGTQ+ visitor center within the National Parks Service, honoring the LBGTQ+ community and their history. As a proud parent of a LGBTQ+ person, I won’t stop fighting against the unprecedented and unjust discrimination the LGBTQ+ community continues to face today.”
Michael Kors said, “My husband Lance and I are thrilled to support the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center. It is so important to us to tell the story of the Stonewall uprising, and the brave individuals who were involved, to people who want to learn about this pinnacle moment in the battle for LBGTQ+ rights. The night that marriage equality passed, we immediately rushed to The Stonewall for that momentous moment. Unfortunately, the battle for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over, and we need to keep the history of the movement in the forefront of people’s minds so that we move forward, not backward.”
Designated by President Barack Obama on June 24, 2016, the Stonewall National Monument includes the 0.19-acre formerly known as Christopher Park and the surrounding streets, including Christopher Street adjacent to the park. The Stonewall National Monument is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history.
MBB Architects will lead the design process of the SNMVC with support from LGBTQ historians, activists and community leaders. Local Projects will lead the experiential, exhibit and educational process. The SNMVC will be funded by donations from the community and allies.
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