WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — As Pride weekend nears, the groundbreaking of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center in New York City marked a landmark achievement in American history.

The 3,700-square-foot building at 51 Christopher St. sits right next door to the Stonewall Inn, where the current bar is located. It honors the queer people who fought for equality at the Stonewall Uprising back in 1969 when police raided the popular gay club for serving liquor without a license. It became a turning point in the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. 

“It’s absolutely incredible. It’s progressing and progressing,” gay rights activist Randolfe Wicker said. “Every gay right is a civil right.”

Gay rights activists applauded the organizers of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center. The center will be an outlet for all in 2024.

Organizers said the visitor center will offer an immersive experience through in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions and visual arts displays.

It will also provide a unique opportunity to visit the site where history was made while inspiring future generations to continue to push for gay rights.

“It softens my heart,” tourist Cameron Good Giles said. “This is really where it all began; it’s our freedom — we’ve been fighting a long time and it began here.”

The center’s groundbreaking is part of a month-long series of events to honor LGBTQ+ rights. 

Even the “Material Girl” herself celebrated the start of Pride Weekend in New York City. Madonna’s surprise performance at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen on Thursday boosted the excitement of Pride partygoers.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday morning. This will kick off a series of events happening on Pride Weekend, which leads up to the Pride March on Sunday.