Crafting Your Experience

New YorkHistory
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

LGBT Washington Square Park & Environs

This experience is sponsored, in part, by the generous support of American Express, Con Edison, and a Humanities New York Action Grant. Washington Square Park and the surrounding area had an openly LGBT presence beginning in the early 20th century. This experience provides a snapshot on some of the extant sites associated with 20th century LGBT life in this neighborhood. Visit the block of MacDougal Street just south of Washington Square that was once the cultural and social center of Greenwich Village’s bohemian set. Through the 1960s, the South Village was the location of many LGBT bars and commercial establishments with numerous LGBT writers and artists making the Village their home. See some of the area churches that fostered LGBT rights activism in the 1960s. 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.

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

    Learn about the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

  • 2.

    Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop

    Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop

    Craig Rodwell established America’s first gay and lesbian bookstore in this storefront in 1967.

  • 3.

    Eve Adams’ Tearoom

    Eve Adams’ Tearoom

    “Eve Adams’” was a popular after-theater club run by Polish-Jewish lesbian émigré from 1925 to 1926.

  • 4.

    Eleanor Roosevelt Residence

    Eleanor Roosevelt Residence

    Between 1942 and 1949, was the New York City residence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • 5.

    Judson Memorial Church

    Judson Memorial Church

    In the 1960s and 1970s the church was home to avant-garde arts groups, and a site for LGBT gatherings.

  • 6.

    Tony Pastor’s Downtown / Gay Community Center

    Tony Pastor’s Downtown / Gay Community Center

    From 1939 to 1967, this was a mob-backed club with a mixed clientele but popular with lesbians.

  • 7.

    Washington Square U.M. Church & Parish House

    Washington Square U.M. Church & Parish House

    The church and neighboring parish house have an LGBT history beginning in 1973.

  • 8.

    Lorraine Hansberry Residence

    Lorraine Hansberry Residence

    In 1960, the playwright bought this building with money earned from her play, A Raisin in the Sun.

  • 9.

    Mad Hatter / Pony Stable Inn

    Mad Hatter / Pony Stable Inn

    From 1945 to1970, this lesbian bar was popular among a butch/femme, mostly white, working-class crowd.

  • 10.

    The Bagatelle

    The Bagatelle

    The Bagatelle, or "the Bag," was a popular lesbian bar from 1952 to 1959.

  • 11.

    Larry Kramer / Edith “Edie” Windsor Residence

    Larry Kramer / Edith “Edie” Windsor Residence

    Residence of GMHC and ACT-UP founder Larry Kramer and activist and Supreme Court plaintiff Edith Windsor.

  • 12.

    San Remo Café

    San Remo Café

    In the late 1940s and ’50s this attracted many gay artists, writers, dancers, and actors.

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