This week I finalized and submitted the first draft of my Philadelphia LGBTQ sites assessment spreadsheet for internal review within the Park Service, and attended a meeting with Bonnie's team. I also created a structured map of the sites list, and used that as I began taking pictures of the sites. On Thursday I also connected with Chris Beagan, Frank Futral, and the LGBTQ Resource Group's intern, Jasmine Baskin. Later this afternoon I will be attending a webinar which will serve as an introduction to the Nevada LGBTQ Archives.
Monday through Wednesday of this week I put the final touches on the spreadsheet with the list of Philadelphia's LGBTQ sites prior to submitting that list Wednesday afternoon. This involved continuing my efforts to adequately organize the list, and ensuring that the narrative sections for each site were as thorough as possible prior to review. One such site was the Kiyoshi Kuromiya residence, which had a solid overview, but did not necessarily emphasize its national significance as well as I liked. I will especially look forward to receiving feedback on sites like this. Wednesday, as I drafted the email to send with the list, I described my methodology in selecting certain sites over others. This especially involved explaining how I achieved 59 sites on the list from the over 1,000 currently on Bob Skiba's mapping project. This was a valuable exercise in reflecting on how I do this work, and how to articulate that to others. I explained that of those 1,000+ sites, only 220 are within the city of Philadelphia, and from there I excluded sites of singular events, like a picnic in a park. I also explained that I did not include sites with significance more recent than 1990, so I could include the sites associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980's, while still maintaining temporal distance.
A photo of the Kiyoshi Kuromiya property. Kuromiya, an Asian American anti-Vietnam war activist, Civil Rights and Gay Rights activist lived here between 1985-1997. During his time here, he founded the Critical Path Project, which provided free internet and information about HIV/AIDS to people with AIDS during the 1990s.
Tuesday morning, Bonnie and her team had a meeting to check in, and particularly to discuss an upcoming presentation that Sarah Killinger will be giving on Collaboration and Cooperation in Plattsburgh, NY. This presentation will involve addressing how offices throughout the region have contributed to projects in other areas. To provide examples from the Philadelphia office, Sarah asked what projects people within the office have contributed to in the Plattsburgh area specifically. This was an interesting experience, as it showed me how the various offices throughout the Northeast Region work together, and it also showed how Bonnie's team works together and supports one another to prepare for such presentations.
Wednesday I took the sites from my spreadsheet and loaded them into a three-tiered Google Map to help me locate them more easily when I went out to photograph them. This involved typing in their addresses, color coding them in the same way I did the spreadsheet (blue - NHL/NRHP potential, green - NRHP or uncertain, red - local significance), and including their narratives. As outlined above, I also finalized the spreadsheet, provided an explanation of my methodology, and submitted the spreadsheet to the folks at NPS who will be reviewing the list prior to July 13th.
On Thursday, I took my Google Map of sites and focused on photographing the sites I coded blue, for likely NRHP or NHL potential. I photographed all but one, the Clark Polak residence in North Philly, as I ran out of time prior to a phone call appointment I had at 3PM. It was wonderful to be out and about, finding these actual properties and photographing them. This provided a much greater impression of which structures are the originals from the period of significance, and which were not. For example, what I believed was once the Janus Society offices was mistaken. I believed that the offices were replaced by a Westin Hotel, when in reality, the offices were across the street, and now a park. This unfortunately means that the building was still demolished, but the clarity was appreciated. When I return from my trip next week, I hope to get back out to photograph the green-coded properties, and then the red ones.
Thursday afternoon I had a brief, introductory phone call with Chris Beagan, Frank Futral, and Jasmine Baskin. Chris wanted Jasmine and me to meet and establish contact so we can exchange ideas and information that might be beneficial to one another's work. Given her background in outreach-type projects, I very much look forward to working with Jasmine in the near future.
Later this afternoon I will be attending an online webinar introduction to the Nevada LGBTQ Archives. I do not yet know the details of the webinar, but it will certainly provide an excellent opportunity to see what LGBTQ work is being done in the Park Service across the country.