If the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation gets its way, the Stonewall Inn and Julius’, two longstanding icons of gay culture in New York City, will become official NYC landmarks. As DNAinfo points out, it’s already unlikely that the buildings would ever be torn down, as they’re part of a historic district, but the group would like the two bars to receive explicit recognition.
It wouldn’t be unwarranted: as the site of the Stonewall riots, the former bar marks a turning point in the fight for LGBT rights across the country, and Julius’ bills itself as the oldest bar in Greenwich village and the oldest gay bar in NYC. “They’re not getting the explicit protections and recognition that they should be getting,” says Andrew Berman, GVSHP’s executive director. “It’s very, very easy for this history to get lost to the sands of time, and that’s one of the purposes of landmark designation — is to make sure that it’s not lost, that it is recognized.”
In 2o12, Robert Ziegler, owner of the Village bar Boots & Saddle, pushed to have all of Christopher Street, home to the Stonewall Inn landmarked. That effort, so far, has been unsuccessful.
Heather McCracken, a spokeswoman for the LPC, says it is “aware of the important history of The Stonewall Inn and Julius’ Bar,” and will consider the landmarking request.