Crafting Your Experience

New YorkHistory
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

LGBT Harlem: In the Life

This experience is sponsored, in part, by the generous support of American Express, Con Edison, and a Humanities New York Action Grant. This collection focuses on extant LGBT sites in Harlem, a neighborhood that has been home to a significant portion of the black LGBT community since the 1920s. Included are a number of sites associated with one the 20th century’s most significant cultural movements, the Harlem Renaissance, which produced an outpouring of celebrated works by African-American artists and writers from roughly 1919 to 1935. Unfortunately, many of Harlem’s LGBT historic and cultural sites have been demolished. This tour represents a selection of 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.

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    Learn about the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

  • 2.

    Hotel Olga

    Hotel Olga

    For about 25 years, beginning in 1920, African-American travelers stayed at this renowned hotel.

  • 3.

    March on Washington National Headquarters

    March on Washington National Headquarters

    1963 National Headquarters for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the famed 1963 march.

  • 4.

    Ali Forney Murder Location

    Ali Forney Murder Location

    Location where this homeless gender non-conforming youth of color was killed in 1997.

  • 5.

    Billy Strayhorn & Aaron Bridgers Residence

    Billy Strayhorn & Aaron Bridgers Residence

    Residence of jazz great, Strayhorn, and his jazz pianist partner, Bridgers, from 1939 to 1948.

  • 6.

    Countee Cullen Branch, NY Public Library

    Countee Cullen Branch, NY Public Library

    This library was renamed for the noted gay poet in 1951.

  • 7.

    Ethel Waters Residence

    Ethel Waters Residence

    Home of legendary black performer Ethel Waters from at least 1925 to 1927.

  • 8.

    Mt. Morris Baths

    Mt. Morris Baths

    Between the 1920s and 2003, an important social center for gay African-American men.

  • 9.

    Gumby Book Studio

    Gumby Book Studio

    Between 1926 and 1931, one of the preeminent literary and artistic salons of the Harlem Renaissance.

  • 10.

    Langston Hughes Residence

    Langston Hughes Residence

    Poet and leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance lived here from 1947 to 1967.

  • 11.

    135th Street Branch, New York Public Library

    135th Street Branch, New York Public Library

    During the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual and artistic center for African Americans.

  • 12.

    Harlem YMCA

    Harlem YMCA

    One of Harlem’s most important recreational and cultural centers when YMCA branches were segregated.

  • 13.

    Apollo Theater

    Apollo Theater

    Showcase for black performers, including many LGBT stars, and site of the Jewel Box Revue drag show.

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