June marks one year since the Stonewall Inn was designated an individual New York City landmark within the historic district of Greenwich Village. While the Stonewall Riots were a dramatic historical moment for the LGBT community, the movement did not start or end there. There were many smaller events and locations that gave exposure to the LGBT community in spaces used to socialize, make art, and mobilize.
Each of the buildings included in this list is a designated individual landmark and are protected as historic spaces by virtue of being located in an historic district. Historic designation reports do note an area’s distinction in LGBT history, particularly if the district was designated after the LGBT movement became prominent. The designation of the Stonewall Inn was particularly notable from a social and historical perspective, since it was generally acknowledged that the site was not architecturally or aesthetically distinguished – a clear gesture to landmark the history behind the building.
In honor of Pride Month, we highlight ten notable LGBT landmarks and sites in New York City:
Garish billboards are a common sight in Times Square. Image via Wikipedia.
Whether you’re a local or visitor, you are bound to have stepped foot in Times Square at least once. Located within the “Special Midtown District,” Times Square has its own set of zoning rules. In fact, the garish billboards that have became the hallmark of Times Square are not a coincidence, but planned down to the smallest detail from the minimum surface area of light on street frontages, where signage must face, to the mandatory level of brightness for illuminated displays. With more than 360,000 pedestrians passing through Times Square everyday, it is no wonder many stores have joined in the competition and add a little extra to their usual signage displayed elsewhere.
Here are the 10 most “blinged out” signage that passersby won’t miss even if they try to: (more…)
A former French bakery on Green Street. Image via Scribner’s.
New York City is currently home to several ethnic enclaves, but did you know that there also used to be a “Little France” in Soho? According to a recent post by Ephemeral New York, from the 1870s until the 1890s, Soho, specifically in the area between Washington Square South and Grand Street, and West Broadway and Greene Street was home to somewhere between 20,000 and 24,000 French immigrants.
The Gateway to Soho at 599 Broadway
The bright blue, eight-story art piece adorning a wall on 599 Broadway certainly stands out among the surrounding buildings and billboards, catching the eye of pedestrians. Unknown to many of them, however, this piece, called “The Gateway to Soho” (or “The Wall”), actually has a rocky history and even became the subject of a federal lawsuit.
Known for trendy shopping and restaurants, the Tribeca and Soho neighborhoods currently have the two highest medium sales prices in New York City. However, even before the area transformed into a hip, artistic hub, commercial and industrial activities heavily dominated Lower Manhattan.
Many of these condos and lofts once served other functions, as you can tell from their distinct architecture. As luxury homes continue to flourish in this area, read on to find out what some of these buildings used to be.
Photo via Evan Desmond Yee
First things first, the mock Apple Store at Fueled Collective, an app development firm in Soho, doesn’t quite look like the version above that artist Evan Desmond Yee created off his successful Kickstarter campaign. But it has all the same gadgets and serves a similar purpose: a stinging contemporary on how society is addicted to technology and startup culture. On a visit to this scale-down version in the Fueled Collective headquarters in Soho, you’ll discover these “products” have unexpected names.