3. Bethesda Fountain, Central Park
Besthesda Fountain, the famous Central Park Fountain, was designed by sculptor Emma Stebbins in the 1860s while she was living in Rome with her lover. The two were part of a movement of lesbian artists in the late 19th Century who, according to the Landmarks Commission, formed a group of “female jolly bachelors.” They were among the first generation of women to forge a career in the arts and to form same-sex relationships,” continues the Commission in its LGBT History Guide. Stebbin’s was not acknowledged as a lesbian in the 1974 report Central Park Designation Report.
Other Central Park locations played additional notable roles in LGBT history, which you can read about in our previous article, “A Gay ol’ Time in Central Park.”