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LGBTQ History Fun Fact: Gilbert Baker, the Creator of the Rainbow Flag, Once Lived on This Block in West Harlem


Gilbert Baker, the designer of the rainbow flag, lived on W 150th Street for 16 years.

With Pride Month in full swing, rainbow flags are on display across the city.


But did you know this now-ubiquitous symbol of the LGBTQ community has uptown connections?


In a little-known fact, Gilbert Baker, the creator of the flag, lived for 16 years on W 150th Street in Hamilton Heights, West Harlem.


Baker, an artist and activist, created the design in 1978 while living in San Francisco. "When all else fails, art is the ultimate weapon," Baker once said.


He relocated to New York in 1993, moving to "a garden apartment at 546 West 150th Street in Harlem from 2001 until his untimely death in 2017," according to the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.


A sign about Gilbert Baker on W 150th Street.

Walk down the stretch of W 150th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway and you'll find the fun fact posted on a weathered sign from the neighborhood block association.


You can also read more about Baker from the neighbors who knew him on the group's Facebook page.


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