July 30, 2012
Support is growing for our effort to preserve the 1824 rowhouse at 186 Spring Street and its incredible connection to early gay rights and AIDS activism, but we still need your help to save this landmark and honor its history.
In just the last few days, we have gotten strong letters calling upon the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect this building and the entire South Village from State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, and City Council Speaker Quinn; the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; City Councilmember Danny Dromm; City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer; the Preservation League of NY State; the LGBT Community Center; Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats; and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.
Here is an excerpt from the Task Force's letter about the legacy of 186 Spring Street resident Bruce Voeller, the Task Force's co-founder and first director:
Under his leadership, the Task Force secured the American Psychiatric Association's removal of homosexuality from its official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a groundbreaking redefinition...that paved the way for legal reforms. Also under his leadership, the Task Force advocated for the successful ruling by the U.S. Civil Service Commission allowing gay people to serve in government employment in 1975, ending decades of witch hunts against government workers suspected of being gay.
This is in addition to his other incredible accomplishments and those of Jim Owles, Arnie Kantrowitz, and others who lived at 186 Spring Street that GVSHP outlined in our letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
Recent articles in The Villager newspaper and Gay City News have continued to call attention to this effort.
Perhaps most encouragingly, the City has not yet issued demolition permits for the building, and the LPC has said that based upon the information we have provided about the house's LGBT history, they are taking a second look at possible landmark designation. But this could change at any moment, and the house could be demolished.
HOW TO HELP:
- If you have not already, please write to the Landmarks Preservation Commission RIGHT AWAY urging them to preserve 186 Spring Street and its special history -- click HERE.
- Please post and pass this e-mail along to others who would be interested and ask them to write to the LPC too.
You can find out more about 186 Spring Street HERE. Thank you for your support for this effort.