New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York Senator Chuck Schumer were among those on hand for the groundbreaking Friday morning, dipping ceremonial silver shovels into a bed of rainbow colored sand.
The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will be located next door to the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. It is slated to open in 2024.
The Stonewall National Monument became the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ history when it was dedicated in 2016 across the street from the Stonewall Inn, where patrons fought back against a police raid on June 28, 1969, and helped spark the contemporary LGBTQ rights movement.
The Stonewall rebellion is commemorated every year with Pride marches in cities across the U.S. and the world.
"It's important to have the Stonewall Inn as part of our long and powerful history," Model Geena Rocero told Eyewitness News. "But to have a visitors center in a place, for me, where we can feel grounded... to formally have a space for us to have that... is really powerful."
"My history is important," said musician Mila Jam. "To know where I come from, to know the people who have fought for me to breathe, to be here, to have agency over my life."
The new visitor center will offer in-person and virtual tours as well as art exhibits for anyone looking to learn more about the fight for LGBTQ rights and the role Stonewall played.
Although it will be managed by Pride Live, the center will also serve as home base for National Park Service staff members.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The NYC Pride March broadcast special, co-hosted by Angelica Ross along with WABC's Ken Rosato, Lauren Glassberg and Sam Champion, will return for its sixth consecutive year on ABC 7 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on Sunday, June 26 as well on abc7NY.com, ABC News Live, and ABC7 New York's Connected TV Apps on streaming platforms Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.
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