Designated: June 18, 2019
Having served as the former home of the influential writer, scholar, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde from 1972 to 1987, 207 St. Paul’s Avenue is culturally and historically significant in a great number of ways.
Writing as a black lesbian feminist, Audre Lorde and her internationally renowned body of work spoke largely to the discriminatory injustices faced by the LGBT community and women of color, and as such, she was a prominent voice in the civil rights and liberation movements of the 1970’s. Having once said, “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves”, Lorde’s activism and published works openly challenged institutional sexism and racism.
While living at this residence, Lorde authored many of her notable works such as The Black Unicorn and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press which exclusively published works by and about women of color, spoke at the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979, and held the distinguished position of Thomas Hunter Chair of Literature at Hunter College.
Audre Lorde was officially named Poet Laureate of New York State during her final year living at this residence; further strengthening the significant link between this 1898 home and her inspiring legacy.
*image courtesy of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
Jun 3, 2019
HDC@LPC: Designation Testimony – LGBTQ Sites
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society
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