Anyone who’s ever read literary giant James Baldwin knows how much he loved New York City and how he championed both his Blackness and queerness. So it’s only fitting that his former home, a remodeled row house that he resided in from 1965 until his death in 1987, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project announced on Thursday (September 12).
Known as the James Baldwin Residence, the 137 West 71st Street location was nominated by the Project to be included in a National Park Service grant to increase LGBTQ+ diversity on the National Register. Facilitated by the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the building was listed officially on September 3, 2019. Baldwin may not have believed in using identifying labels besides Black, but he did break, then repair with civil rights activism through literature and debate, his position as a gay Black man in America.