One of New York City’s cultural landmarks, the Stonewall Inn, is in danger of closing due to the coronavirus shutdown and is asking for the public’s support. The owners write in a GoFundMe campaign that the bar faces an “uncertain future” and that they are in need of community support: “We are reaching out because like many families and small businesses around the world, The Stonewall Inn is struggling. Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff and the community. Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future. Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.”

The Stonewall Inn is the heart of the LGBTQ movement in New York, the location of the 1969 “Stonewall Riots” — a defining moment in both American and LGBTQ history. The three-day standoff between police and the gay community was a galvanizing moment in the history of the gay rights movement. In June 2015, the Stonewall Inn was declared a New York City landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission for its significance in advancing civil rights and the building’s history as a reminder of the struggle for equality. Separately, it also listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the first inclusion of a LGBTQ historic site.

The GoFundMe message also addresses how the owners “resurrected” the bar after it was closed previously,  and they write, that “we stand ready to do it again- with your help. We worked diligently to resurrect it as a safe space for the community and to keep the Stonewall Inn at the epicenter of the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been a community tavern, but also a vehicle to continue the fight that started there in 1969. Stonewall is the place the community gathers for celebrations, comes to grieve in times of tragedy, and rally to continue the fight for full global equality.”

The owners hope to raise $50,000 in this GoFundMe campaign but also have been running a separate GoFundMe since April 8 in support of its staff.

Next read more about the history of the Stonewall Inn.

6 thoughts on “Stonewall Inn Could Close Down, GoFundMe Campaign Launched

  1. The story needs to be updated, as the current (8:44 PM, 6/24/2020) GoFundMe total is over $69,000.

    1. We’re glad to have been part of the effort to successfully fund the GoFundMe!

  2. It’s my understanding that the bar is part of the National Monument…. so how does that work exactly? As a landmarked building it physically cannot be torn down or changed, but could it be turned into a coffee shop for example? Or would the current owners just “sell” the bar to new owners who would run it? Could it become a different bar entirely or does it always have to be called Stonewall Inn?

    1. Hi Jeanette! Great questions. The national and state landmark protections don’t really offer legal protections to the building but the city landmark designation does so it’s a good thing we have that. Stonewall Inn is an exterior city landmark, so the interior can be changed. And the name and use could be changed as well.

      1. That seems bananas considering a double landmarking and a national monument designation. I can’t imagine anyone will let that happen!

        1. The response to the GoFundMe shows how passionate New Yorkers are about that history! It’s great to see.

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