NEW YORK – A groundbreaking ceremony held Friday celebrated the start of work on a visitor center set to open at the Stonewall National Monument in 2024

The center plans to share the history of the Stonewall Inn and its impact on the LGBTQ movement. 

“This was intended to be, and still is, a day of great celebration,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Long time coming. In fact, 53 years in coming that there finally is the appropriate recognition for what went on here many, many, many decades ago.” 

The 3,700-square-foot site will open at 51 Christopher St., between Waverly Place and Seventh Avenue South, next door to the Stonewall In at 53 Christopher St. 

The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village was the site of a 1969 uprising that marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights. The Stonewall Inn and the streets and park adjacent to it were recognized as a national monument in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama. 

“It started right here and we’re so proud of that history. And we cherish that history and we honor that history,” Hochul said. “And today we begin the groundbreaking for something that’s going to be there for generations to come.”

The celebration, which occurred an hour after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, prompted Hochul to make remarks on supporting the rights of New Yorkers. 

“We will cherish your rights. We’ll honor them and we’ll send a message to the rest of the nation,” she said. “If your state does not respect you, does not treat you with the rights that we think you have here in New York, then why are you doing in those other states? Come to New York.”

The new visitor center is slated to become the first LGBTQ visitor center within the National Park Service, a release from Pride Live, an LGBTQ group, said. 

The center plans to showcase artwork created by LGBTQ artists and provide tours of the area and lectures on Stonewall’s history, the release said.