The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) recently designated the Lesbian Herstory Archives an official landmark, making history as becoming Brooklyn’s first LGTBQ+ landmark!
The building, which is located within the Park Slope Historic District, has been the home to the nation’s oldest and largest collection of lesbian-related historical material since 1991.
“The lesbian community has played an immeasurable role in the LGBTQ+ rights movement and will forever be a vital piece of NYC’s past, present, and future,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “By designating the Lesbian Herstory Archives we pay tribute to this vital part of our collective history. This landmark reflects the incredible stories of lesbians, who, against all odds, fought for and achieved the equality and acceptance they deserved.”
Founded in 1974 by activists Joan Nestle, Deborah Edel, and others, the Lesbian Herstory Archives began as a grass-roots attempt to end the silence around lesbian history and to create a physical archive for study, analysis, and community gathering. Archives date back to the 1950s and include everything from periodicals and audio-visual materials to files on lesbian activist and community groups.
After outgrowing its former space, it relocated to 484 14th Street in Park Slope in 1991, where it stands today.
“We’re thrilled that the Lesbian Herstory Archives, a women-owned building, has been officially recognized as a NYC Landmark, further solidifying the importance of including LGBTQ history in the broader narrative of American history,” said Amanda Davis, project manager, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. “The designation acknowledges the pioneering lesbian women who, nearly 50 years ago, came together to create an affirming space for their community. Perhaps most significantly, these women reclaimed their past by saving and preserving lesbian-related records, photographs, and ephemera for future generations of queer women.”