Why One Of NYC's Oldest Bars May Become A Landmark

As one of the oldest cities in the country, New York City is teeming with history on nearly every corner of its five boroughs. But with gentrification and constant growth at play, sentimental value alone doesn't always protect a building from being demolished and turned into something unrecognizable. If you spend the day with any lifelong New Yorker, they might point out dozens of ordinary-looking storefronts and regale you with tales of the good ol' days: When that Duane Reade was a diner; that Warby Parker was a family-owned bookstore; that parking lot was a subterranean speakeasy that played host to famed celebrities du jour. 

Many historical NYC sites have been lucky enough to make it through to eternal protection from the city's bulldozers. One such site is Christopher Street's Stonewall Inn, the famous gay bar that became a symbol of LGBTQ+ history after a 1969 police raid sparked a series of protests helmed by the likes of Marsha P. Johnson (via History). As of this week, a Greenwich Village LGBTQ+ bar that's even older than Stonewall (and located just around the block) may also be on its way to getting landmark status.

Julius' Bar has been a Greenwich Village LGBTQ+ stop since 1930

Time Out New York reports that the Greenwich Village LGBTQ+ haunt Julius' Bar may soon be deemed a historical landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The LPC voted this week to hold a public hearing sometime this fall to discuss the bar's historical significance. "LGBTQ+ and civil rights history like that which is embodied in Julius' are essential elements of our collective story, and it's critical that they not be forgotten or erased," says Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman (via Time Out New York).

Julius' claims not only to be the oldest gay bar in Greenwich Village, but also in all of NYC, having been established in 1930 (per Facebook). More than just a longstanding watering hole, Julius' famously hosted a 1966 "Sip-In" for LGBTQ+ protestors organizing against the New York City law that punished people for "drinking while gay," per National Park Service. For this reason, the bar was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. If the LPC votes to make the bar a landmark, it could ensure that Julius' sticks around in the Big Apple for many more years.