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Preservationists Pleased With Landmark Consideration For Stonewall Inn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Preservationists were excited Friday about reports that the historic Stonewall Inn in the West Village will be up for consideration for city historic landmark status.

The tavern at 51-53 Christopher St. is known as the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, after patrons squared off and fought against a police raid of the bar in 1969.

A Gay City News report Friday indicated that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission will begin considering the Stonewall for landmark status at a meeting on Tuesday of next week.

Preservationists Pleased With Landmark Consideration For Stonewall Inn

Commission chair Meenakshi Srinavasan told Gay City News that the Stonewall Inn is "widely considered the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement, and is widely known as the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement and holds a truly iconic place in history."

The building also still retains its architectural integrity 46 years later, Srinavasan told the publication.

The Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation has been calling for city landmark status for the Stonewall for more than a year, and was enthusiastic Friday about the news.

"This is a long-overdue move to recognize the incredibly important role this site and the riots connected to it have in the struggle for LGBT rights in this country and worldwide," preservation society director Andrew Berman said in a statement published on the group's website. "It is critical that the history of sites like Stonewall and the immeasurably important role they played in making our country a more just, open, and accepting place, is recognized and preserved."

As told by Stonewall Inn's own website, eight police officers arrived at the bar at 1 a.m. on June 29, 1969 for a planned raid.

Preservationists Pleased With Landmark Consideration For Stonewall Inn

But the patrons refused to cooperate, and the crowd later tried to overturn a police wagon. Officers barricaded themselves inside the bar as items were thrown outside, and by the end, 13 people had been arrested, and four police officers and several others had been injured, the Stonewall Inn said.

Protests continued for six nights.

The Stonewall Inn has not been in continuous operation ever since the riots. In fact, the original bar went out of business in late 1969 – just months after the uprising – and the space was used variously as a bagel shop, a shoe store, and a Chinese restaurant in the 1970s and '80s, according to published reports.

The western half of the building reopened as a bar called Stonewall in the early 1990s, and the entire building was put into use for a new Stonewall Inn in 2007.

The Stonewall Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

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