New York City has long been a refuge for LGBTQ people who, in turn, have helped shape the history and culture of the city, region, and nation through countless historic places. Yet, until recently, these contributions went largely unknown and uncelebrated. Since 2015, the award-winning NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has worked to flip the narrative by documenting historic places connected to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in New York City. The Project’s goal is to broaden public understanding of LGBTQ history beyond the Stonewall uprising of 1969, and to advocate for its inclusion in the collective telling of American history. Its interactive website includes over 400 sites, from the 17th century to the year 2000, and over 30 curated themes. The team further disseminates this history through community engagement, social media, and public programs. The Project’s research and advocacy have also resulted in the listing of eleven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and the designation of nine sites as New York City Landmarks for their significance to LGBTQ history.
Join the Greenwich Historical Society in welcoming Amanda Davis, project manager of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, as she details the ongoing efforts behind the Project’s research and documentation. She will also highlight historic places in New York City that have ties to past Connecticut residents, such as author Maurice Sendak and actress Katharine Hepburn, and share stories about how LGBTQ activism and life in the city impacted people in the Tri-State area and beyond.
Amanda Davis is an architectural historian who grew up in Wilton, CT, and still has family in Fairfield County. She has been the project manager of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project since its founding in 2015. In this role, Amanda oversees and writes content for the Project’s website of over 430 sites, leads public programs, and collaborates with local and national stakeholders to raise awareness of New York City’s LGBTQ cultural heritage. In 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected her for its inaugural “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” list in recognition of her efforts to help tell America’s full history. The Trust also honored the Project with the Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence in 2022. Amanda’s past work includes serving as the Director of Preservation and Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (now Village Preservation) and researcher/surveyor at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Funding for this project is made possible by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which provide significant support to Connecticut Humanities.