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Itineraries

When you visit the New York City AIDS Memorial, you can also explore the rich history of Greenwich Village and the surrounding neighborhoods, whose long and diverse history has made it an important epicenter of LGBT life and HIV/AIDS activism in New York City.

Some information provided by thanks to the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

 

LGBT Culture & History

1

New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent's Triangle

The Memorial sits on a part of a triangular site that was most recently part of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital campus. Following the closing of the hospital in 2010, a public park was designed for the site through a community review process. The new park was constructed by the Rudin Management Company as part of the conversion of the hospital into residential development and given to the City of New York in 2017.

This park was selected as the site for the AIDS Memorial because it sits at a unique crossroads in early AIDS history in New York City. The earliest documented AIDS cases, first reported in 1981, disproportionately affected the gay male population, which had large communities in the surrounding West Village and Chelsea neighborhoods. As a result of the number of ill patients filling the beds and hallways of the hospital, in 1984 St. Vincent’s established the first AIDS ward in the city and second in the nation. The Memorial site is less than a block from the LGBT Community Center on 13th Street, where ACT-UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and other AIDS advocacy and support groups first organized. It is also within blocks of the first headquarters of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GHMC), and the former office of Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, who pioneered community-based research trials for AIDS drugs. His co-op board’s attempt to evict him led to the nation’s first AIDS anti-discrimination case in 1983. Many consider the Memorial’s location as the symbolic epicenter of the epidemic and the mobilization against it.
2

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Since 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center has served as a vital support system for hundreds of thousands of people.

The Center has witnessed the founding of ACT UP, GLAAD, Las Buenas Amigas, Queer Nation, and the Lesbian Avengers, and for many years was the meeting location for the Metropolitan Community Church of New York and SAGE.

The Gender Identity Project, which was established here in 1989, is the longest-running service provider for the transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community in the state.

Check out the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, an art gallery, book store and performance venue in Room 210, as well as the world-famous Keith Haring bathroom also on the second floor alongside other artworks by the likes of Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, George Whitman, Kenny Scharf and Barbara Sandler.
3

The Church of the Village

Openly gay Reverend C. Edward “Ed” Egan, Jr. led the Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church, now known as The Church of the Village, from 1971 to 1977, when he was forced into early retirement because of his homosexuality. From 1973 to c. 1996, the church was the meeting location of the support group now known as PFLAG, the first such group in the world for parents of lesbian and gay children. Between 1974 and 1976, the church was also the first meeting location of the Salsa Soul Sisters, a black and Latina lesbian group. From c. 1977 to 1988, the church hosted services by the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, which was founded to minister to the LGBT community whose members were not welcome in most churches.
4

Stonewall Inn

From June 28 to July 3, 1969, LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn and members of the local community took the unusual action of fighting back during a routine police raid at the bar. The events during that six-day period are seen as a key turning point in the LGBT rights movement, with large numbers of groups forming around the country in the following years. Stonewall became the first LGBT site in the country to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1999) and named a National Historic Landmark (2000), with additional recognition by city, state, and federal governments in 2015 and 2016.
5

Christopher Park

Located just across from the Stonewall Inn, during the 1960s Christopher Park was a popular hangout for LGBT youth. The park, designated the Stonewall National Monument by President Obama in 2016, played a key role during the Stonewall Uprising and remains an important site for the LGBT community.
6

Gay Liberation Sculpture (1980)

This sculpture by George Segal (1924–2000) was placed in Christopher Park in 1992. It was designed to commemorate gay liberation and remains a focal point of the park.
7

Judson Memorial Church

The Judson Memorial Church was home to avant-garde arts groups, and a site for LGBT political gatherings. This progressive church continues to play a major role in the LGBT movement to this day.
8

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Residence

In 1923, Millay, considered one of the most significant writers of 20th-century literature, became the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Millay was openly bisexual, an early feminist, and a central figure in Bohemian Greenwich Village. She became a symbol of the modern, liberated woman of the 1920s. This house is one of the narrowest houses in New York City.
9

James Baldwin Residence

From 1958 to 1961, author and civil rights activist James Baldwin rented an apartment in this building, where he continued work on his third novel, Another Country (1962), which included bisexual characters. His influence as a novelist and as the most significant chronicler of the civil rights movement contributed to his fame, leading to a constant presence of fans outside the building.
10

The Daughters of Bilitis Meeting Spot

The Daughters of Bilitis was the nation’s first lesbian civil and political rights group, first founded in San Francisco in 1955.
11

Liberation House

In 1972, friends Leonard Ebreo and Alice Bloch co-founded Liberation House, an early post-Stonewall community center that provided health services to the LGBT community. It was also the first home of the influential Gay Men’s Health Project and the Gay Switchboard.
12

Murray H. Hall Residence

This rowhouse near the Jefferson Market police court (now the Jefferson Market Library) was the last residence and office of well-known Tammany politico Murray H. Hall, who today would be considered gender non-conforming.

Following Hall’s 1901 death, the New York Times reported that Hall’s “true sex” was revealed by the doctor.
13

Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop

In 1973, Craig Rodwell moved his Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the first gay and lesbian bookstore in America, from its original home on Mercer Street to a prominent location on Christopher Street, near the center of New York City’s gay life.

The shop occupied this site for over 35 years.

food

1

The Little Owl

Meatball sliders top a list of Mediterranean-New American favorites at this popular little spot.
2

Taim

Falafel sandwiches & platters plus smoothies are the draws at this vegetarian Israeli joint.
3

Murray’s Cheese Bar

Small, casual restaurant pairing cheese-laden flights & mains with wines & craft beers.
4

Elephant & Castle

Longtime Village restaurant serves pub fare & brunch in an unpretentious setting.
5

Market Table

Bustling New American eatery with huge windows & an emphasis on farm-fresh fare.
6

Tartine

French bistro basics & a Parisian vibe enliven this tiny BYOB restaurant with sidewalk seating.

drink

1

Julius’ Bar

Julius’ is considered the city’s oldest continuously operating gay bar and site of the 1966 “Sip-In,” which was an early pre-Stonewall public action against LGBT discrimination. It attracts a diverse crowd and is the closest New York City has to a gay pub, famous for its burgers.
2

Marie’s Crisis

This historic piano bar draws a crowd of gay locals & musical-theater performers in dimly lit digs.
3

The Cubbyhole Bar

Longtime lesbian & gay Village local bar has jukebox, free popcorn, drink specials & colorful decor.
4

Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar

Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar offers a selection of wines, sakes, cordials and cognacs that span the globe.
5

Little Branch

Underground den of mixology serves a vast menu of handcrafted cocktails in a snug space.
6

Employees Only

Inventive drinks are poured at this retro-looking, Prohibition-style bar.
7

Henrietta Hudson

Lesbian-owned and operated, Henrietta Hudson is renowned across NYC and the world for its friendliness, free spirit, and ever-inviting atmosphere.