Crafting Your Experience

New YorkHistory
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

LGBT Brooklyn

This experience is sponsored, in part, by the generous support of American Express, Con Edison, and a Humanities New York Action Grant. Sites along the Brooklyn waterfront, including the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, have had important LGBT connections for well over a century. Several important artists and activists called the area home, including author Truman Capote, Broadway set designer Oliver Smith, and activists Renee Cafiero and Nancy Garden. The waterfront itself was a well-known cruising area. Bars and hotels on and around Montague Street provided the LGBT community with spaces for socializing, cruising, and organizing outside Manhattan, and Spencer Memorial Church was home to the Gay Alliance of Brooklyn and an early, short-lived gay synagogue. This collection represents a sampling of LGBT life in one of New York City’s most iconic neighborhoods. This tour represents a selection of extant sites associated with LGBT history that are located within a small geographic area. As such, it does not represent the entire long LGBT history of New York City, nor does it entirely reflect the diversity of today’s LGBT community. This collection is limited to the research we have included on the project website so far. For more information or to suggest a site, please visit our website at www.nyclgbtsites.org.

  • 1.

    Willard Maas & Marie Menken Residence

    Willard Maas & Marie Menken Residence

    Decades long residence to bisexual poet-filmmaker-educator and visual artist-filmmaker.

  • 2.

    Richmond Barthé Frieze at Kingsborough Houses

    Richmond Barthé Frieze at Kingsborough Houses

    Barthé, an African-American sculptor, created this 8-foot by 80-foot frieze in 1938.

  • 3.

    Walt Whitman Residence

    Walt Whitman Residence

    The home of influential poet Walt Whitman when he published Leaves of Grass.

  • 4.

    Lesbian Herstory Archives

    Lesbian Herstory Archives

    Contains one of the world’s largest collection of records “by and about lesbians and their communities.”

  • 5.

    Heights Supper Club

    Heights Supper Club

    From 1962 to 1963, one of the first bars in Brooklyn to cater to a gay male clientele.

  • 6.

    Renée Cafiero & Nancy Garden Residence

    Renée Cafiero & Nancy Garden Residence

    Pre-Stonewall activists moved here in 1964, after being in the first demo for gay rights in the U.S.

  • 7.

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    Learn about the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

  • 8.

    Starlite Lounge

    Starlite Lounge

    Between 1962 and 2010, this was Brooklyn's "oldest black-owned non-discriminating" bar in New York City.

  • 9.

    Oliver Smith / Truman Capote Residence

    Oliver Smith / Truman Capote Residence

    Home of legendary theater designer Oliver Smith and where Truman Capote wrote his best-known works.

  • 10.

    Transy House

    Transy House

    The transgender collective that operated in Brooklyn from 1998 to 2008.

  • 11.

    Green-Wood Cemetery

    Green-Wood Cemetery

    Many LGBT individuals are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the most beautiful landscapes in America.

  • 12.

    F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant

    F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant

    From the 1930s to the 1970s, this restaurant was owned and operated by gay proprietor Frederick Lundy.

We use cookies on this website. You are free to manage these via your browser settings at any time. For more information about how we use cookies, please see our Privacy Policy.