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Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Site Preservation

Sat, Apr 6, 2019    1pm

Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Site Preservation

A key principle of historic preservation is the power of places; a conviction that extant places matter and that they can inform current generations about the lives of people and events of the past. For over one hundred years, professional preservationists and local citizens around the world have advocated for the preservation of architectural monuments and places where famous people lived or where momentous events occurred. In recent years, the focus of preservation has expanded to include more diverse buildings, people, and stories. But the preservation of sites of importance to the LGBTQ communities has lagged until recently. It was not until 1999 that the first LGBTQ site, Stonewall, was listed on the National Register. In North America and parts of Europe, activists have been engaged in identification and interpretation or reinterpretation of LGBTQ sites, but this has been a slow process and in many parts of the world, where LGBTQ rights are suppressed, such examination would still be an impossibility. This symposium examines the progress and challenges of preserving sites of significance to LGBTQ communities and, by extension, to the heritage of cities and nations around the world.

The day began with walking tours of Greenwich Village hosted by NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, followed by at symposium at Wood Auditorium in Avery Hall and concluded with a celebration and the dedication of Earl Hall’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places by Ann Kansfield (CC ‘98).

Symposium Schedule

Introduction by Andrew Dolkart (MSHP ‘77), Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia GSAPP, Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

QSAPP Co-Organizers Gwendolyn Stegall (M.Arch/ HP '19) Ruben Gutierrez (M.Arch '19), and Dalton Baker (M.Arch '20).

Recognizing LGBTQ Sites in the United States
Moderated by Amanda Davis (MSHP '06), NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Cate Fosl, Director, Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, University of Louisville
Nick Large, GLBT Historical Society, Board of Directors, San Francisco
Shayne Watson, Architectural Historian & Preservation Planner, Watson Heritage Consulting, San Francisco

LGBTQ Site Preservation: An International Perspective
Moderated by Ken Lustbader (MSHP '93), Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Ankit Bhuptani, Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Mumbai
Matt Cook, Professor of Modern History, University of London
Michael Ighodaro, Co-chair Board of Directors, Outright Action International

Reinterpreting the House Museum
Moderated by Jay Shockley (MSHP NG '80), Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Susan Ferentinos, Public History Researcher, Bloomington
Barbara Lau, Executive Director, Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, Durham
Ken Turino, Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions, Historic New England

Co-Organized by NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, QSAPP and the Office of the University Chaplain as part of the Stonewall 50 Consortium.

Image: The sign reading “Queer Symposium” on the lap of Alma Mater created by QSAPP students on February 208th, 2019 references an image on the cover of the first edition of Pride of Lions: The Newspaper of the Gay People at Columbia in April 1972. Where a sign read “Gay Dance” and pointed to Earl Hall, the location of meetings and dances of the first ever university sanctioned LGBT student group, the Student Homophile League, founded in 1966, which still exists as the Columbia Queer Alliance.

Stonewall 50: Introduction and Panel 1

Amanda Davis (MSHP ‘06), Project Manager, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Amanda Davis has overseen the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project’s documentation initiatives since its founding in 2015. On behalf of the Project, she has spoken to various audiences at the city, state, and national levels, and also authored the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Caffe Cino. In 2018, she was named to the National Trust’s inaugural “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” list, in recognition of her efforts to help tell America’s full history. She loves that the replica she sewed of the iconic 1966 “Annual Reminder” dress worn by the late Barbara Gittings was enthusiastically approved by Gittings’ life partner, Kay Lahusen.

An experienced architectural historian, Amanda previously worked at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Architectural Resources Group (in Los Angeles), and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. She holds a BA in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

Andrew Dolkart (MSHP ‘77), Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia GSAPP, Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Andrew S. Dolkart has been active in historic preservation in New York City for over forty years. He has worked extensively with neighborhood groups on preservation efforts and has completed scores of National Register nominations, Landmark Commission designation reports, historic resource surveys for environmental reviews, and urban cultural resource inventories. Andrew has also written extensively about the architecture and development of New York City, focusing in particular on the city’s everyday, vernacular building types and how they influenced the character of neighborhoods.

His books include Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development, which won the American Association of Publishers award for best academic book in architecture and planning; Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street; and The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City 1908-1929 (2009), which won the Society of Architectural Historians Antoinette Forrester Downing Award. In 2015, he co-founded the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, for which he has completed the National Register nominations for Julius’ Bar, the Alice Austen House, and Columbia University’s Earl Hall. Prior to this, he co-authored the Stonewall National Register and National Historic Landmark nomination reports and contributed to the 1994 map “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks.”

Ken Lustbader (MSHP '93), Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Ken Lustbader is a co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, the first cultural heritage initiative and educational resource to document historic sites connected to the LGBT community in New York City. For over 25 years, he has been one of the national pioneers in issues related to LGBT history, documentation, and historic preservation. His involvement in LGBT place-based history began in 1993 when he authored “Landscape of Liberation: Preserving Lesbian and Gay History in Greenwich Village,” for which he received the 1993 Outstanding M.S. Historic Preservation Thesis award at Columbia University. Soon after, he helped create the 1994 map “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks.” More recently, he co-authored the “LGBT History Tour, Greenwich Village, NYC” walking tour brochure and map, that highlights LGBT historic sites around Stonewall National Monument. Between 2007 and 2015, he served as Historic Preservation Program Director at the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Prior to that he was lead consultant for the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, which advocated for the conservation of in situ elements of the World Trade Center that are now integral components of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. Between 1994 and 2002, he was the Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program.

Jay Shockley (MSHP NG '80), Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Jay Shockley retired in 2015 as senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission where since 1979 he researched and wrote over 100 designation reports covering all aspects of the city’s architectural, social, and cultural history. In 1993, he helped pioneer the concept of recognizing LGBT place-based history by incorporating it into the Commission’s reports. He co-authored the Stonewall nomination, which resulted in the first-ever National Register of Historic Places (1999) and National Historic Landmark (2000) listings for an LGBT site. He was the author of the chapter “Preservation of LGBTQ Historic & Cultural Sites – A New York City Perspective” in the National Park Service’s LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History (2016), which received the 2018 Buchanan Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum. In collaboration with the National Parks Conservation Association in 2017, he co-authored the text for the “LGBT History Tour, Greenwich Village, NYC” walking tour brochure and map that highlights LGBT historic sites around Stonewall National Monument.


Ankit Bhuptani, Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Mumbai (Participating via Pre-Recorded Video)
Milestones on the road towards Equality in India
Ankit Bhuptani is a Gay Rights activist from Mumbai, India. He is the founder and chairperson of The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association and has organized the Mumbai LGBTQ Pride parade since 2010. He is a regular speaker & commentator on faith, diversity, human rights & inclusivity at various public & interfaith platforms. His efforts to fight for LGBT rights have touched many lives of the nation. He travelled throughout India for six months after the Supreme Court’s judgement on IPC 377 on December 11th, 2013 and delivered 500 public talks on constitutional fundamental rights, his work has been featured on media platforms throughout the country. He received a Role Player award at the 4th Annual World Diversity and Inclusion Congress in 2019. He serves as an editor for the Gujarati Literary Magazine PatraSetu and is a program office for the non-profit educational organization VIDYA, which assists underserved communities.

Matt Cook, Professor of Modern History, University of London
Coming In: Queering Heritage in the UK
Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a cultural historian specializing in the history of sexuality, the history of London and public history. He is the author of London and the Culture of Homosexuality, 1885 – 1914 (2003) and Queer Domesticities: Homosexuality and Home Life in Twentieth-Century London (2014) and co-editor four collections - A Gay History of Britain (2007); Queer 1950s (2013); Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe since 1945 (2014), and Queering the Interior (2017). He has worked extensively with the museums, archives and heritage sectors in the UK on issues of LGBTQ representation, most recently co-authoring the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride guidebook. Matt is currently principal investigator on a project called ‘Queer Beyond London’ and is co-authoring a book of the same name. He is an editor of History Workshop Journal, Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre and currently convenes the gender and sexuality and public history masters programmes at Birkbeck.

Susan Ferentinos, Public History Researcher, Bloomington
Were They or Weren’t They? Negotiating LGBTQ Identities at Historic House Museums
Susan Ferentinos is a consultant who works in historic preservation, museum practice, and historical research for the public good. Her work specializes in LGBTQ history, gender history, and the history of sexuality. Within the realm of historic preservation, she has assisted the National Park Service in identifying potential National Historic Landmarks related to LGBTQ history and is currently writing an LGBTQ historic context statement for the state of Maryland. She is also the author of the book Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, which won the 2016 Book Award from the National Council on Public History. Dr. Ferentinos holds a PhD in US history and a Masters of Library Science, both from Indiana University.

Cate Fosl, Director, Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, University of Louisville
Investigating and Celebrating Queer Places and People in Kentucky
Catherine (“Cate”) Fosl, MSW, PhD, is founding director of the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville, where she is also a professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. A historian by training, Fosl is the author of three books: the award-winning Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (2002; paperback 2006); Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (co-authored with Tracy E. K’Meyer, 2009), and Women For All Seasons: The Story of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (1989), as well as numerous articles and reports. Her fields of expertise are oral history, U.S. social history, and post-WWII social movements in the U.S. South.
Fosl has increasingly turned her research interests to community engagement on topics as diverse as housing segregation, women’s activism, and LGBTQ history. Much of her recent research took place in partnership with community organizations and can be seen on the Anne Braden Institute website at http://louisville.edu/braden . Her most recent major project in this regard was as principal author of a Lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-queer (LGBTQ) historic context narrative for the state of Kentucky through a National LGBTQ Heritage Initiative of the National Park Service. The narrative was accepted by NPS in 2017, and is available at https://www.nps.gov/articles/kentucky-statewide-lgbtq-historic-context-narrative.htm. This project was completed in partnership with the Fairness Campaign, an LGBTQ equality organization headquartered in Louisville. Fosl is active in the Coordinating Council for Women in History and received their 2005 Catherine Prelinger Award for non-traditional historians. She is active in the Oral History Association.

Michael Ighodaro, Co-chair Board of Directors, Outright Action International
Micheal immigrated as a refugee to the United States in 2012 from Nigeria after being outed by a Washington Post article. In his native Nigeria, Micheal was a grassroots organizer supporting homeless gay teens from a street corner in Benin City. He then moved on to found the first Nigerian organization to support HIV-positive gay men, He also worked with the first LGBTIIS organization in Nigeria as a Program assistant and later as a Palliative Care Officer. Since moving to New York, Micheal continues to advocate for improved social systems and services for LGBTIQ asylum and refugee status seekers. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, New York Times, and several UN news outlets.

In June of 2015, Micheal was honored by President Obama as a World Refugee Champion of Change. He has also been featured in a United Nations Free & Equal campaign to educate global communities about the LGBTIQ community. And currently a subject of an upcoming documentary on HBO. He is currently the Program Manager at AVAC, providing strategic support for HIV prevention globally, while attending the New School. He has also worked with Housing Works and Outright Action International, first as a fellow and now as co-chair of the Board of Directors, Micheal is also a Board member of Accountability International, a global organization that holds global leaders accountable. He is currently a subject of an upcoming documentary for HBO.

Nick LARGE, GLBT Historical Society, Board of Directors, San Francisco Fierce Landmarking: Place Based Organizing in the Face of Gentrification
Nick Large is a Queer, mixed race Japanese American politikween from San Francisco, current board member of the GLBT Historical Society, and member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere A&PI Drag Troupe, the Rice Rockettes. Nick has been involved with several Japanese American, A&PI, and LGBT causes and groups and has most recently worked with the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and the city of San Francisco’s LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy on its Advisory Council. Obtaining an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of San Francisco, Nick wrote a thesis on San Francisco’s emerging Cultural Districts and the movement behind the current Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. Nick, along with Kristi Yummykochi, Nick’s drag persona, has been featured in Vice, NBC Asian America, New Now Next, and local Bay Area publications such as 48Hills, the Bay Area Reporter, and the Bay Times. Nick currently works at Home Base as a Policy Analyst providing technical assistance to help communities form their response to homelessness. You can catch Nick, and Kristi Yummykochi, every 2nd Thursday at the Lookout for the Rice Rockettes Show. The $5 cover will be waived for attendees of this event.

*Barbara Lau, Executive Director, Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, Durham
*The Call of Pauli Murray: Queering Traditional Interpretation of Historic Homes

Barbara Lau is executive director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, a national historic landmark site in Durham, NC. Anchored by Murray’s childhood home, the Center honors the legacy of activist, lawyer, poet and priest, Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray (1910-1985). Murray, an African American, LGBTQ gender non-conforming woman, struggled to live fully in a world not ready for her inclusive vision of freedom. The Center, slated to open full-time in 2020, engages with a diversity of communities through programming that connects history to contemporary issues using the tools of story and truth telling.

Lau’s credits include producing To Buy the Sun, an original play about Pauli Murray; co-directing the Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life community mural project; and curating Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest, and two major exhibitions about Cambodian American traditions. She teaches undergraduate courses about Durham and LGBTQ history and culture.

Ken Turino, Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions, Historic New England
Queering New England’s Historic Houses
Kenneth C. Turino is Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions at Historic New England. His community engagement projects have included the award winning Haymarket Project, an on-line series of oral histories, an exhibition, and a publication on Boston’s public market, and an ongoing partnership with the History Project which documents and preserves Boston’s LGBT history .Ken also created and directs the annual Program in New England Studies an intensive week long course of study on architecture, preservation, and material culture. He is an adjunct professor in the Tufts University Museum Studies Program where he teaches courses in exhibition planning and on the future of historic houses.

Ken frequently consults on interpretive planning and community engagement at historic sites. Recently he has worked at Madam John’s Legacy State Museum, New Orleas, LA, on best practices of community engagement and strategies for involving residents of the French Quarter with the house museum. For Connecticut Landmarks,he is consulting at the Palmer Warner House in East Haddam on an interpretive plan that that focuses on the site as a home of a same sex couple for much of the twentieth century.

Ken has contributed a chapter, “Gay is Good: Commemorating LGBTQ History” in Commemoration: The American Association for State and Local History Guide,. With and Susan Ferentinos he wrote, “Entering the Mainstream: Interpreting GLBT History,“ for History News (Autumn 2012) and for her award winning publication Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites he authored a chapter, “The Varied Telling of Queer History at Historic New England Sites.” With Nina Zannieri hewrote an essay “Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity for Historic Houses,” in the forthcoming The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook. With Max von Balgooy he edited Reinventing the Historic House Museum, to be published later this year.

Shayne Watson, Architectural Historian & Preservation Planner, Watson Heritage Consulting, San Francisco
The Citywide Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History in San Francisco: An Overview
Shayne Watson is an architectural historian and preservation planner based in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2013 to 2016, Watson served as co-author and co-director (with Donna Graves) of the groundbreaking Citywide Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History in San Francisco. The project received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award and the California Preservation Foundation’s Trustees Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. In 2014, Watson was one of 16 scholars invited to participate in the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Heritage Initiative Roundtable in Washington, DC. As part of that initiative, she co-authored the San Francisco chapter of the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Theme Study—the first LGBTQ history project in the world to be commissioned by a federal government.

Ms. Watson has presented on LGBTQ heritage preservation at panels and conferences hosted by the National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, California Preservation Foundation, American Planning Association, and the University of Southern California. She is a founding board member of the Rainbow Heritage Network, a national organization for the recognition and preservation of LGBTQ sites and heritage. She is founding chair of the GLBT Historical Society’s Historic Places Working Group and a committee co-chair for the City of San Francisco’s Citywide LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy.