May 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Furies house, Stonewall site set for historic recognition
Furies, gay news, Washington Blade

The Furies Collective house has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The National Park Service on Monday added a row house on Capitol Hill used in the early 1970s as headquarters for a lesbian feminist group called the Furies Collective to its National Register of Historic Places.

The action makes the Furies house at 219 11th St., S.E. the nation’s first national lesbian related historic landmark.

The announcement of the Park Service decision came a little over three months after the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to add the house to the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites.

In a separate action, federal government officials have disclosed that President Obama was close to designating as a national landmark a mini park in front of the Stonewall bar in New York’s Greenwich Village and part of the surrounding neighborhood.

According to the Washington Post, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) were scheduled to hold a “listening session” on May 9 to obtain input on the proposal from local residents and businesses.

Six days of rioting by LGBT customers at the Stonewall in June 1969 triggered by a police raid on the bar are considered one of the key events leading to the start of the modern LGBT rights movement.

“We must ensure that we never forget the legacy of Stonewall, the history of discrimination against the LGBT community, or the impassioned individuals who have fought to overcome it,” Nadler said in a statement. “The LGBT civil rights movement launched at Stonewall is woven into American history, and it is time our National Park system reflected that reality,” Nadler said in a statement.

He was referring to Obama’s reported plan to designate by executive action the area surrounding the Stonewall as part of the National Park Service, possibly in June, in time for New York’s LGBT Pride celebrations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and several New York State lawmakers have expressed support for the proposal.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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