Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Frank Kameny's House Listed On The National Register Of Historic Places

Back in February, 2009, a simple, brick house at number 5020 Cathedral Ave. NW, in Washington D.C., was designated a DC Historic Landmark because it was the epicenter of the gay rights movement in our nation's capital.

And then, this past week, following the last month's death of the home's owner, Frank Kameny, the house was added to the National Park Service's Register of Historic Places. This new designation makes the Kameny house the only LGBT historic site listed in the register. The Stonewall Inn, by comparison, is considered an Historic Landmark, and is the only such landmark with any relation to LGBT history.

Mark Meinke, founder of the Rainbow History Project, and one of the people who pushed to have the Kameny house recognized nationally, says, "WE hope that recognizing [his house] as a national historic site means other cities and states will bring forward other LGBT sites for....recognition." Meinke is speaking of sites like Chicago's Henry Gerber house, and Harvey Milk's Castro Camera site in San Francisco.

David Field, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, called the inclusion of Frank Kameny house on the register ''fairly precedent-setting'' because it is the first place associated with an LGBT civil rights figure.

This is a huge part of our history, y'all. This is a place where the fight began, where Kameny organized and orchestrated demonstrations and protests regarding the inequalities suffered by the LGBT community. This may just seem like another historic site, but it's another huge step in our march toward equality. If you're ever in D.C. take a look at it.


R.J. said...

I'm glad to see this happen. And there's almost always an elegance with brick homes, even the simple ones.

Biki said...

I didnt know that Stonewall was a historic landmark! And to think that Kameny's house is now listed as well? I'm stunned, shocked and amazed that we now have our own mecca to visit. Thanks for this bit of info. Thats why i love reading you, i learn so much.