Boystown leaders join forces to create permanent museum, visitor's center on Halsted

Wed. March 23, 2016 9:12 AM by Andy Ambrosius

chicago's legacy walk in boystown

The Northalsted Business Alliance and The Legacy Project aim to bolster tourism in the LGBT community with a new partnership

Chicago, IL - Boystown may soon be home to a permanent LGBT museum and visitor's center as two Chicago organizations join forces to drive tourism in the historic community.

The Northlasted Business Alliance and The Legacy Project announced the new partnership on Tuesday, outlining plans to consolidate efforts and find a location on North Halsted Street dedicated to tourism and cultural programming.

While the business alliance already represents more than 100 Boystown businesses and organizes major events like Pride Fest and Market Days, The Legacy Project already has one foot in the museum door, so to speak. The organization unveiled a walkable, outdoor museum called the Legacy Walk along Halsted in Boystown in 2012 honoring some of the most notable LGBT influencers in history.

For both leading parties, the new partnership is seen as a way to build a future for Boystown, honoring past accomplishments while creating a new way to leave a mark in the community.

"This collaboration is a synergy between two like-minded organizations, both seeking to ensure that Boystown remains an equally economically and culturally vibrant neighborhood," said Christopher Barrett Politan, Northalsted Business Alliance's Executive Director. "Through this endeavor, we anticipate working to implement many of the goals of our strategic plan and look forward to partnering with Legacy Project to help foster a greater appreciation for the incredible contributions made by LGBT people throughout history."

NBA will employ a full-time program director to oversee all joint efforts, filled by Victor Salvo, who remains the Legacy Project's Founder and Executive Director. Under the scope of the agreement, the two parties will help create a permanent space on North Halsted Street dedicated to tourism and cultural programming.

"This formal collaboration with the Northalsted Business Alliance builds upon a functional relationship which began in the spring of 2010," Salvo said. "This newly expanded relationship gives both organizations an opportunity to develop joint tourism initiatives that will raise the profile and awareness of the Legacy Project's many endeavors – most especially the Legacy Walk – by driving patrons who tour the outdoor museum to the streetscape's member businesses, and vice versa.

"We have great hope for the future as fun and innovative ways are found to tie LGBT history to the proud cultural heritage of Boystown in order to build the most exciting, multifaceted LGBTQ neighborhood in the world."

Showcased on rainbow pylons along North Halsted, the existing Legacy Walk features 35 bronze plaques highlighting historic figures in the movement. The outdoor museum is dedicated to combating anti-gay bullying by celebrating LGBT contributions to history.