December 18, 2013 | by Staff reports
Fire Island theater restoration receives boost
Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Cherry Grove Community House, Democratic Party, United States Senate, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Cherry Grove Community House in Cherry Grove, N.Y., on Aug. 10, 2013. The New York Democrat successfully lobbied the National Park Service to place the structure on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo courtesy of Bruce-Michael Gelbert)

CHERRY GROVE, N.Y.—A group that seeks to restore a historic Fire Island community center and theater has received a $334,863 grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

The Cherry Grove Community Association said in a Dec. 16 press release that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the grant earlier this month along with 799 others to fund projects throughout the Empire State. CGCAI President Diane Romano said that Cherry Grove residents have raised nearly $600,000 to restore the Community House that dates back to the 1940s.

“We are thrilled about this grant and very grateful to all who helped make it a reality,” said Romano. “This grant now ensures that our work will be complete.”

The Community House is among the first venues in the country that featured gay-produced shows and performances.

The National Park Service earlier this year placed the structure onto the National Register of Historic Places. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote in a May 9 letter to the head of the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program that the Community House represents “a rare and exceptionally significant chapter in the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights in the United States.”

1 Comment
  • As a past president of the Cherry Grove Property Owners Association, I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am to learn of this federal grant. Kudos to those who persevered in this efforts
    and to the many property owners who gave so generously.

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