Stonewall Inn Landmarked

| 23 Jun 2015 | 06:32

The Stonewall Inn is officially a city landmark.

The brick-clad bar, on Christopher Street near Seventh Avenue, is often called the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, whose flashpoint, on June 28, 1969, was a police raid of the bar that ignited days of resistance and rioting that came to be called the Stonewall Rebellion.

On Tuesday, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission recognized that lineage and history and designated the Stonewall Inn as a city landmark.

Established in 1967, the Stonewall Inn, operated by the mob with the unofficial sanction of city authorities, quickly became one of the most renowned gay bars in the city.

Two buildings that comprised what would more than a century later become the Stonewall Inn were built in the 1840s as stables, according to the commission. They were combined on their first floors behind a unified façade in 1930, after which the ground floor housed a bakery. The Stonewall Inn Restaurant opened on the site in 1934. Decades later, following a fire, it reopened as a gay dance club and unlicensed bar, the Stonewall Inn, in 1967.

The buildings, which feature arched entrances, small windows and stuccoed upper stories, are within the Greenwich Village Historic District, which was designated on April 29, 1969, two months before the uprising. In 1999, the Stonewall Inn was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

In early 2014, the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation began to campaign for landmarks designation, which would offer the site a greater degree of protection.

Andrew Bergman, the society’s executive director, told the commission that “few sites anywhere in New York have the international resonance of Stonewall.”

Landmarks designation would ensure preservation of the building, “which is so inextricably linked to the events of June 1969 that transformed our city, our country and our society,” he said.

The Stonewall Inn is the first building in the city to be landmarked solely on the basis of its connection to the LGBT civil rights movement. Bergman said several other sites across the city deserve landmark designation on that merit, including Julius’ Bar, on 159 West 10th St., and the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, at 99 Wooster St.