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Save Historic LGBTQ Landmark (AUDIO)

By Charlotte Robinson, February 17, 2021

The San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission will hold a virtual public hearing Wednesday February 17th at 12:30P PST / 3:30P EST to address securing a local landmark designation for the San Francisco home of pioneering LGBTQ advocates Phyllis Lyon (1924-2020) & Del Martin (1921-2008). The home located at 649-651 Duncan Street in San Francisco, CA was recently purchased by a private owner & is at risk of demolition to make way for new development. Their home became the meeting space for the Daughters of Bilitis the first social & political organization for lesbians in the country founded by the couple & friends in 1955. A historic landmark designation will protect the property from significant alterations that could erase the groundbreaking LGBTQ civil rights history it represents. Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation stated, “The Lyon-Martin house powerfully illustrates chapters of our nation’s story that are far too often left out of the narrative. Preserving this property is an act of equity, an opportunity to bring attention to the ongoing fight for LBGTQ+ equality & anti-discriminatory policies in which Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin & their home played such a significant role.” Woody LaBounty San Francisco Heritage President & CEO concluded, "This is a property with international significance & is a civil rights monument. It should be recognized, preserved & ideally used to continue the work to which Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon devoted most of their lives.” I talked to Dr. Gayle E. Pitman about her children’s book entitled “When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin Built a Community” about the importance of preserving our LGBTQ history in this exclusive interview. LISTEN

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