Women's Rights+Civil Rights Landmarks South of Union Square Deserve Protection


  • LPC Chair Sarah Carroll
  • Councilmember Carlina Rivera
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio


I urge you to support landmark designation for the area south of Union Square and its LGBTQ+ and other landmarks

Dear [Decision Maker],

A remarkable concentration of sites connected to the civil rights movements of LGBTQ+ people, women, and African Americans are located in the area south of Union Square in Manhattan, as are a tremendous number of sites connected to our city's social justice, artistic, literary, and commercial history. They deserve recognition and protection, as they are currently vulnerable to alteration, demolition, and replacement. Village Preservation has been calling for landmark designation of this area and these sites for many years, and many elected officials, civil rights groups, academics, scholars, historians, and preservationists have supported that call. I urge you to do the same.

The area south of Union Square is where critical early advances in the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people were made in the realms of employment discrimination, bias-related violence, criminalization of consensual sexual activity, and pathologizing of gay and lesbian people by the medical establishment. The country's first national LGBTQ+ organizations was located here and led these battles for more than a dozen years, changing our culture and legal and cultural frameworks, with reverberations still being felt today. Great LGBTQ+ artists and writers also made history here, changing the understanding, visibility, and representation of LGBTQ+ people and lives.

That's because the area South of Union Square is where progressive activism and cultural trailblazing met, and transformational change was the result. This was true not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but African Americans, women, the labor movement, immigrants, and the fields of painting, writing, photography, music, and film, among many others, which saw great leaps forward take place here.

The call to recognize and landmark these sites and this area that nurtured them has been ongoing for several years now. Support for the effort has grown in all corners, but government officials who need to act to officially recognize and protect these sites have so far failed to do so. I strongly urge you to finally support this effort and ensure that these sites and this area is recognized and its great civil rights landmarks are honored and protected before more are lost.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]


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