Greenwich Village Locals Continue Fight to Save 186 Spring Street Townhouse
by Adel Manoukian A historic house at 186 Spring Street may be torn down by owner and Canadian developer Nordica, but not if the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has anything to say about it. The GVSHP has recently discovered that the 1824 house, formerly owned by Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, has historic significance in early gay and AIDS activism. It served as a "gay commune" right after the 1969 Stonewall Riots-a series of violent demonstrations against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village. Residents of the house in the early 1970s included Jim Owles, the first openly gay candidate for city public office and Dr. Bruce Voeller, the co-founder and director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. This organization was the first to advocate gay and lesbian rights and was able to remove "homosexuality" off the list of mental disorders among other accomplishments. The house is also located within GVSHP's South Village Historic District, which the organization is trying to preserve as a whole. The Canadian developer Nordica is planning to build a seven-story building that will have two floors of retail, three single-floor apartments and a duplex penthouse at 182 Spring Street, according to DNA Info. Because of these recent discoveries, GVSHP has been able to get letters of support from political representatives like State Senator Tom Duane and City Councilmember Danny Dromm. The organization also urges residents and people in support of the fight to write letters to the Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC). Due to the continued support, the City has not yet issued demolition permits for the space and GVSHP is trying to keep it that way.
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