On the wet January day that I met National Park rangers Julie Burna and Callie Tominsky in Greenwich Village to talk about the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ+ rights and history, we ducked into a coffeeshop to escape the drizzle and the relentless din of New York traffic.
Come June 28, the rangers will no longer be solely at the mercy of the elements and will be able to share the story of Stonewall National Monument from what’s going to be the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Park Service.
For now, the door to 51 Christopher Street is locked and plastered with construction permits. The large picture window is blacked out so you can’t peek inside.
But the $3.2 million Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center — operated by Pride Live under an agreement with the NPS — is opening “strangely enough on time and oddly enough on budget,” promises founder Diana Rodriguez.