Stonewall Inn in 2012; building on right was part of property in 1969
|Location||53 Christopher Street, New York, New York 10014|
|NRHP Reference #||99000562|
|Added to NRHP||June 28, 1999|
|Designated NHL||February 16, 2000|
The Stonewall Inn, often shortened to Stonewall, is a gay tavern and recreational bar in New York City and the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which is widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.
The original Inn, which closed in 1969, was located at 51–53 Christopher Street, between West 4th Street and Waverly Place, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. In 1990 a bar called "Stonewall" opened in the western half (53 Christopher Street). This was renovated and returned to its original name, "The Stonewall Inn", in 2007. The buildings are both part of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's Greenwich Village Historic District, designated in 1969, and the Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
Originally constructed between 1843 and 1846 as stables, the property was turned into a restaurant in 1930. It remained a restaurant until it was gutted by fire in the mid 1960s.
On March 18, 1967, the Stonewall opened in the space. It was, during its time, the largest gay establishment in the U.S. and did a very good business, although, as with most gay clubs at the time, police raids were common. A few months after the rebellion that started June 28, 1969, The Stonewall Inn closed in late 1969.
Over the next twenty years, the space was occupied by various other establishments, including a bagel sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant, and a shoe store. Many visitors and new residents in the neighborhood were unaware of the building's history or its connection to the Stonewall riots. In the early 1990s, a new gay bar, named simply "Stonewall" opened in the west half of the original Stonewall Inn. Around this time, the block of Christopher Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was given the honorary name of "Stonewall Place" by the Borough of Manhattan.
In 1995 the movie Stonewall was released. Written by Rikki Beadle-Blair and loosely adapted from Martin Duberman's book of the same name, the film won awards and was well received at film festivals the world over. The film's screenwriter has adapted his screenplay for the stage, and the stage version of Stonewall had its world premiere in London in July 2007 before heading to for the 2007 Edinburgh Festival in August of the same year.
In June 1999, through the efforts of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects and Designers, the area including Stonewall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historic significance to gay and lesbian history. The area delineated included the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and portions of surrounding streets and sidewalks. The area was declared a National Historic Landmark in February 2000.
The building was renovated in the late 1990s and became a popular multi-floor nightclub, with theme nights and contests. The club gained popularity for several years, gaining a young urban gay clientele until it closed again in 2006, due to neglect, gross mismanagement, and noise complaints from the neighbors at 45 Christopher Street.
Renovation and reopening
In January 2007 it was announced that the Stonewall Inn was undergoing major renovation under the supervision of local businessmen Bill Morgan and Kurt Kelly, who ultimately reopened the Stonewall Inn in March 2007.
Subsequently regaining popularity and continuing to pay homage to its historic significance, the Stonewall Inn hosts a variety of local music artists, drag shows, trivia nights, cabaret, karaoke and private parties. Since the landmark passage of New York State's Marriage Equality Act the inn now offers gay wedding receptions as well. Kelly and Morgan have also been dedicated to incorporating various fundraising events for a host of LGBT non-profit organizations.
In popular culture
- The movie Stonewall, released in 1995, is loosely based on the incidents leading up to the riots.
- Brazilian singer Renato Russo recorded his first solo album, "The Stonewall Celebration Concert", in 1994, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the riots. The booklet accompanying the album contained information about 29 social organizations, several of which related to gay rights; part of the royalties was donated to such organizations.
- During the second inauguration of Barack Obama in 2013, the President mentioned Stonewall; Selma, Alabama; and the Seneca Falls Convention, linking women's rights and civil rights struggles with the struggle for LGBT equality. This was the first reference to the LGBT community ever mentioned in a US inauguration speech.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in New York City
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Manhattan below 14th Street
- National Park Service (2008). "Workforce Diversity: The Stonewall Inn, National Historic Landmark National Register Number: 99000562". US Department of Interior. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- National Historic Landmarks Program (2008). "Stonewall". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- Carter, David (2005). Stonewall: The rebellion That Sparked the Gay Revolution (First ed.). New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-34269-1.
- David Carter, Andrew Scott Dolkart, Gale Harris, and Jay Shockly (27 May 1999). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Stonewall (Text). National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- David Carter, Andrew Scott Dolkart, Gale Harris, and Jay Shockly (27 May 1999). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Stonewall (Photos). National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- Halbfinger, David M. (29 July 1997). "For a Bar Not Used to Dancing Around Issues, Dancing Is Now the Issue". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stonewall Inn (New York).|
- Official site
- The Stonewall Riots – About.com
- Original Stonewall Inn to close – Pinknews.co.uk
- Map and driving directions for Stonewall Inn
- NYCNOTKANSAS, "The Gay Sixties" section of an online memoir of fifty years of gay life, beginning in the 50's