First it was Castle Mountains National Monument. Then Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument came to be. Now the National Park Service welcomes #412 to the family. With the designation of Stonewall National Monument on June 24th, 2016 the National Park Service has grown this year from 407 to 412 park units.
The park service also became more diverse with the addition of Stonewall. It is the first site to honor the history and heritage of the LGBTQ community in the United States. President Obama has now used the Antiquities Act to expand or create 24 national monuments, including several focused on civil rights. To date the administration has protected more than 265 million acres of public land and water.
Today we’re sharing what you need to know about Stonewall National Monument, including 8 reasons to be excited about this new park unit!
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8 things you need to know about Stonewall National Monument
- Stonewall National Monument is located in Greenwich Village area of New York City. The monument includes Christopher Park and portions of Christopher Street.
- The monument is directly across the street from the Stonewall Inn, a central location in the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. A critical event in American history, many recognize the Stonewall Uprising as the start of the LGBT rights movement. Currently open and operating as a private business, Stonewall Inn opens its doors 7 days a week for patrons 21+.
- First designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2000, Stonewall Inn and the surrounding buildings waited 16 years to join the park system. Obama’s designation adjusts the funding stream and transfers the management of the area to the National Park Service.
- Stonewall National Monument encompasses roughly 7.7 acres of land. In addition to protecting the property, it also provides funding to protect hundreds of objects and artifacts relating to Stonewall, LGBTQ heritage, and the major events of the Stonewall Uprising.
- The park highlights three statues within Christopher Park. First is a sculpture commemorating the gay rights movement. Second is a statue of Civil War General Phillip H. Sheridan. Lastly, the famous 1936 flag pole rises in the central area of the park. Visitors can check out all three, stop in the Stonewall Inn, and then enjoy a park bench in this famous New York City neighborhood.
- Park hours are currently 9AM to Dusk. There is no visitor’s center at this time. The visitor’s center at Federal Hall National Monument currently serves as park headquarters. Federal Hall is roughly 2 miles south of the Stonewall unit.
- Stonewall joins 10 other park service units in New York Harbor. Visitors can walk to many of these sites from Stonewall National Monument.
- Just after the designation, the National Park Foundation announced a campaign to raise $2 million to build a visitor’s center, exhibits, and raise awareness for the newest park unit.