First Lesbian Landmark Added to US National Register of Historic Places

On May 2,2016, the US National Park Service  approved the designation of the house at 219 11th Street SE, Washington. DC, as an historic landmark.  From 1971-1973 this house was the home of the Furies Collective, a group of women who published a newsletter and articles that led the early discourse and debates that laid the foundation for social and political activism, and the development of lesbian theories and philosophies. The story of the house, and the project of obtaining this significant designation, is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.  Additional informationa about the Furies and this important historical designation is also reported on Slate.com

Here is the summary statement of significance from the registration document:

The Furies Collective, historically located at 219 11th Street SE, meets National Register Criterion A with Social History as the Area of Significance. The Furies Collective house is directly connected with the early expression and definition of the character, role, and ideology of the lesbian community as a social and political dc_washingtondc_furieshouse_0001_copy.jpg.CROP.promovar-medium2community in itself, and within the second-wave women’s movement and American society in general in the early 1970s. The house became the operational center of the lesbian feminist separatist collective, the Furies, between late 1971 and the autumn of 1973 which created and led the debate over lesbians’ place in society. The twelve women in the collective published a lesbian feminist edition of motive magazine, a youth magazine of the United Methodist Church, and more importantly, a tabloid-size newspaper titled The Furies which over a period of two years raised and discussed major questions of women’s identity, women’s relationships with other women, with men, and with society at large. That newspaper and its sister publication, the lesbian feminist issue of motive, set the issues and agenda of lesbian and feminist discussion for many years to come. (Link to Furies Collective Registration Form)

Many thanks to Sharon Deevey who shared this information with us!  Sharon was a member of the Furies Collective, and later in the 1980s also a member of Cassandra: Radical Feminist Nurses Network.

About peggychinn

feminist, nurse activist, writer, editor of ANS Advances in Nursing Science, quilter, grandmother nurturing the future of the amazing children in my life.
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