The Lesbian Herstory Archives – 484 14th Street
ITEM PROPOSED FOR PUBLIC HEARING
A Renaissance Revival row house designed by Axel Hedman and constructed in 1908 that has housed the Lesbian Herstory Archives since 1991.
As the citywide advocate for New York’s architectural, historical and cultural Landmarks, HDC enthusiastically supports the designation of The Lesbian Herstory Archives as an individual cultural landmark. This 1908 three-story Renaissance Revival row house designed by Axel Hedman at 484 Fourteenth Street received recognition on its architectural merits from the LPC in 1973 when it was included in the Park Slope Historic District.
Today, it is right for the LPC to also recognize the building as the first LGBT historic site designated in Brooklyn, for its pioneering legacy as the home since 1991 of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Originally founded in 1974 by activists and supporters including such noted figures as Joan Nestle, Deborah Ede, Mabel Hampton and Audre Lorde, The Lesbian Herstory Archives is the nation’s oldest and largest collection of lesbian-related historical material.
For more than 30 years, 484 14th street has served as a repository and launch-pad for lesbian history and community. Today, the Archives continues to grow its collections, offering materials from the 1950s to the present which are national in scope and inclusive in nature.
Cultural Landmarks have long been an advocacy focus for HDC. In 2018, HDC celebrated cultural landmarks citywide as one of our Six to Celebrate priorities. In our guidebook, we included such noted LGBT sites as Audre Lorde’s Residence on Staten Island, Christine Jorgensen’s childhood home in the Bronx, the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. This year, our 2022 Preservation Conference partially focused on understanding and celebrating Cultural Landmarks. We hope that the Landmarks Commission will continue to identify and designate cultural landmarks across the five boroughs at an increasing rate, especially those sites that celebrate the history and culture of those communities less recognized by the LPC.