CyArk and Iron Mountain Preserve New York’s Historic Stonewall Inn
BOSTON, MA and OAKLAND, CA — Iron Mountain Incorporated and CyArk, a heritage preservation non-profit, have completed a 3D scan of the historic Stonewall National Monument in New York, site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. This project, the latest through Iron Mountain and CyArk’s ongoing partnership, continues the shared mission to digitally capture, share and archive the world’s cultural and historical heritage, uses data to create a photorealistic digital record of Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn.
The Stonewall National Monument project will be available online on CyArk’s website and downloadable through the Open Heritage 3D platform, a joint project between CyArk, Historic Environment Scotland and the University of South Florida Libraries to provide free access to high resolution 3D data of cultural heritage sites across the world. Additionally, the scan is incorporated into both virtual reality, an immersive photorealistic experience that allows viewers to move around within the scan; and augmented reality, featuring recorded stories and perspectives from those who were there, accompanying the scan. These experiences use the history of the Stonewall Uprising to create a unique experience for virtual visitors to learn about the event’s significance in the LGBTQ rights movement. This experiential record will aid in the preservation of this cultural monument accessible to visitors across the globe, for generations to come.
The Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, was the site of a police raid in the early hours of June 28th, 1969. This was not an unusual occurrence, as the LGBTQ community faced intense discrimination from law enforcement at this time. Instead of dispersing, the angry crowd fought back and the resistance and uprising was a key turning point in the LGBTQ rights movement. In June 2016, President Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument, America’s first LGBTQ national park site.
“We believe in the power of 3D documentation to transform the way we manage, conserve and understand our cultural heritage,” said John Ristevski, chief executive officer of CyArk. “Fifty years after the riots, the site stands as a reminder of the courage and passion of the LGBTQ community in standing for the rights of all its members. This project creates a powerful backdrop that immerses people visually in the history of the Stonewall uprising, and engages a new generation who may not be able to make the journey to New York to visit the Stonewall National Monument.”
CyArk documented the Stonewall National Monument, comprising the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park, using 3D mapping technology including LiDAR laser scanners and photogrammetry to create a sub-centimeter, detailed record of the site as it exists today. The three-person mapping team captured exteriors of the park, the bar and its Christopher Street neighbors and, importantly the interior of the Stonewall Inn. Now, any member of the LGBTQ community or ally can walk into this important historic site and connect with history.
Following that capture process, the digital copies are now preserved in a highly secure Iron Mountain facility, ensuring a digital record of the monument is safely protected and available for future use by CyArk. The Stonewall National Monument project joins recent CyArk/Iron Mountain collaborations capturing the moai of Easter Island, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City; the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia; and Fort York in Toronto.
“Our ongoing partnership with CyArk is an extension of our commitment as the trusted guardian for preservation and access to our customers’ most important assets,” said Ty Ondatje, Senior Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer at Iron Mountain. “We are pleased to support the digital capture and virtual experience of the Stonewall National Monument, continuing the historic and cultural journey towards a more inclusive society that recognizes the value of diversity in our communities and our workplaces. Our Living Legacy Initiative allows us to share in that journey as an expression of who we are as an organization, supporting organizations like CyArk that share our philanthropic mission to preserve, and make accessible, the shared cultural and historical legacy of our global community.”
About CyArk: CyArk is a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 to digitally record, archive and share the world’s cultural heritage and ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come. CyArk strives to share this data in powerful ways, including truly immersive experiences that convey the power of these places, transporting users that may never have a chance to experience them and inspiring others to make the journey.
About Iron Mountain: Iron Mountain Incorporated, founded in 1951, is the global leader for storage and information management services. Trusted by more than 225,000 organizations around the world, and with a real estate network of more than 90 million square feet across more than 1,400 facilities in approximately 50 countries, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of valued assets, including critical business information, highly sensitive data, and cultural and historical artifacts. Providing solutions that include information management, digital transformation, secure storage, secure destruction, as well as data centers, cloud services and art storage and logistics, Iron Mountain helps customers lower cost and risk, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and enable a digital way of working.