Week 5 Question- Carolyn

What struck me in particular about these readings was their focus on cultural and social, rather than physical history. When considering listing buildings and sites for socio-cultural associations, how much does physical integrity of the site matter? For example, if the Stonewall Inn had been covered over in vinyl, or possessed a highly visible addition, would that have impaired its listing as a National Historic Landmark? While the listing does describe the appearance of the Inn, the architecture is extremely secondary (only incorporated in the narrative to describe the layout of how the raids took place and where the police barricaded themselves). The true importance of the place is its pivotal role as a single, catalytic moment in the gay rights movement. It’s also interesting that the surrounding streets are mentioned as part of the Stonewall NHL site, when their physical makeup has almost certainly changed.


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