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Collection #80

Steven J. Powsner Papers

Record:80
Date:1955 - 1995
Size:2.5 feet

Provenance

Donated to the Center Archive in May 2000 by his domestic partner and heir Ben Munisteri, It includes correspondence, personal letters, manuscripts, photos, awards and over 100 AIDS medications (which were removed).

Scope and Content

The papers of Steven Powsner include early family photos, high school diploma, degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from New York University (1976); he was also a graduate of New York University Law School (1979). Steven’s first male lover was Bruce Cooper who was a student at Columbia University and they shared n apartment on West 75th Street. There are photos and correspondence of Bruce and Steven, also photos of Steven’s travels in Europe and at least one trip with Bruce. Bruce died of AIDS in 1987. Steven was an activist at New York Law School, Coalition for Lesbian Gay Rights (CLGR), and a successful real estate attorney. He helped negotiate the purchase of the LGBT Community Center here on 13th Street and served two terms on the Board of Directors including being President of the Board in his second term. Steven met Ben Munisteri after Bruce’s death, they became lovers, had correspondence to each other, became legal domestic partners and Ben was the caregiver and executor of the estate at the time of Steven death from AIDS in 1995. The Archive has photos of Steven’s house on Fire Island, the parties held there, travel to Brazil with friends, etc. Steven also wrote short stories and novels. There is 3 feet of correspondence (personal and Center related), manuscripts of Steven and Bruce, and photos (½ foot. Also see website http://www.munisteri.com/powsner and www.gaycenter.orgwebsite for the Steven Powsner Exhibit.

History or Bio

The papers of Steven Powsner include early family photos, high school diploma, degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from New York University (1976); he was also a graduate of New York University Law School (1979). Steven’s first male lover was Bruce Cooper who was a student at Columbia University and they shared an apartment on West 75th Street. There are photos and correspondence of Bruce and Steven, also photos of Steven’s travels in Europe and at least one trip with Bruce. Bruce died of AIDS in 1987. Steven was activist at New York Law School, Coalition for Lesbian Gay Rights (CLGR), and a successful real estate attorney. He helped negotiate the purchase of the LGBT Community Center here on 13th Street and served two terms on the Board of Directors including being President of the Board in his second term. Steven helped with fund raising for the Center, which included the Founders Society. He was active in the early plans for the renovation of the Center and the Capital Fund Campaign. Steven also provided leadership and support to have the lavender line painted down Fifth Avenue for LGBT Pride March (award from HOP). Steven met Ben Munisteri in 1988 after Bruce’s death, they became lovers, have correspondence to each other, became legal domestic partners and Ben was the caregiver and executor of the estate at the time of Steven death from AIDS in 1995. The Archive has photos of Steven’s house on Fire Island, the parties held there, travel to Brazil with friends, etc. There is 3 feet of correspondence (personal and Center related), manuscripts of Steven and Bruce, and photos.

Folder List

Box 1

1. Personal Items (Driver’s License, Heart of Center Award, June 19, 1995), passports
2. Correspondence, personal to Ben Munisteri (Domestic Partner at time of death)
3. Correspondence, personal from Ben
4. Correspondence – to Ben from London Oct. 25, 1988- Jan 1989
5. Correspondence to Steven –general
6. Appointment Books – July 1990-June 1991, July 1991 – June 1992
7. Appointment Books – July 1994—June 1995, July 1995 – Nov. 1995, Address book
8. Appointment Book 1988
9. Diploma High School, Steven Powsner June 24, 1973
10. Fist Apartment on 75th Street
11. Steven Powsner Awards
12. Social Security Disability
13. Medical Bills 1994-1995
14. Documents – Domestic Partnership 1993, Power of Attorney 1985, Health Care Proxy 1991, Nomination of Guardian 193, Will 1993
15. Steven Powsner Obituary November 1995
16. Death, Sympathy Cards to Ben (over 100 – from Ruth Messinger, Bill and Hilary Clinton, etc.)
17. Family (birth) Legal Papers
18. Business, Assignment of Promissory Note 1992, note date 1984
19. Business License and Insurance policies
20. Publishing Book Lists
21. Review by Powsner – “West Side Spirit” review of C. Anthony book 1990
22. Manuscript draft unpublished (Spanish practice)
23. Manuscript draft unpublished (Peter’s death)
24. Manuscript draft unpublished (Alex/Peter)
25. Correspondence – Publishers – Novels, “Noah’s Legacy” & “According to my Bond”
26. Manuscript “Noah’s Legacy” ©1992 Steven Powsner 334 pps.
27. Correspondence – Publishers, Short stories “Spinster Jane” “Parting” 1992
28. Manuscript Short Story, “Spinster Jane”
29. Manuscript Short Story, “Parting”
30. Manuscript Short Story, “Sex Talk Workshop – Excerpts from the Transcript” 1993
31. Manuscript Short Story, “The Cardinal”
32. Manuscript Short Story. “Transcontinental”
33. Manuscript, draft (Jack)
34. Manuscript Novel, “According to My Bond” 1990 ©Steven Powsner 273 pps
35. Correspondence – Literary Agents 1990-1991 “According to My Bond”
36. Manuscript draft (little story) “The Dinner Party”, London Nov. 1988
37. Phi Beta Kappa from New York University to Steven 5/27/1976 mounted (11x 13 ½ inches)

Box 2

38. Bruce Cooper, Passports, Luggage tag (Bruce Cooper [November 11, 1955 – May 11, 1987] was Steven Powsner’s lover from 1974 until his death from AIDS in 1987.)
39. Correspondence to Bruce (Also see Bruce P. Cooper Papers Collection 047)
40. Correspondence from Steven to Bruce
41. Correspondence from Bruce to Steven
42. Correspondence from Bruce’s mother
43. Degree from Columbia, Master of Philosophy 1987 for Bruce Philip Cooper
44. Cooper, Bruce misc. writing
45. Cooper, Bruce, poetry
46. Cooper, Bruce published poem (posthumously Surgam 1988) (April 1988, Magazine of the Philolexian Society of Columbia University)
47. Cooper, Bruce Phillip, Manuscript “Stonewall Nation, A New Approach to the Homosexual Question” 1981 (Dedicated to Steven)
48. Cooper, Bruce, Last Requests
49. Cooper, Bruce, Obituary [November 11, 1955 – May 11, 1987]
50. Cooper, Bruce, Death – Sympathy cards to Steven
51. Cooper, Bruce Endowment with Columbia University by Steven Powsner
52. Founders Society 1993/1994 folder #1 “major donor club”
53. Founders Society Meetings & Gifts 1993 folder #2
54. LGBT Community Center Board of Directors 2/6/1995
55. LGBT Community Center Board of Directors 6/5/1995
56. LGBT Community Center Board of Directors 9/11/1995
57. Founders Society Correspondence, May, June 1994
58. Founders Society List of Donors 1994
59. Founders Society Printouts [weeded] July 1994 Board of Directors – Strategic Plan
60. Board of Directors – Meeting Agenda, founder Society 1994
61. Center Budget YE 6/30/1994
62. Evaluations and Contract, Center Executive Director, 1993-1994
63. Center Executive Committee, Jan. 1992-July 1994
64. Center Contact List 1990-1992, Bylaws 1990
65. Center Board Member Contracts
66. Center General Correspondence (includes Thesis “Expand the Donor Base of LGCSC” by Arthur Goodman, 1993)
67. Center Fire Department Violations 1989-1992
68. Center Renovation Estimates/Quotations 1993 file #1
69. Center Renovation Estimates/Quotations 1993 file #2

Box 3

70. Center Renovation Architectural Proposals 1992
71. Center Renovation Code analysis [1998]
72. Center Renovation Financing, Loans
73. Center board of Directors Nominating, 1994
74. Center President’s & Co-Chairs Group Feb. 1992-May 1993
75. Center Board of Directors Strategic Plan 1991
76. Center GEM (Give Every Month) Society 1993 “semi-major donor club”
77. Board of directors, AIDS Ride 1994
78. Board of Directors – Center Mortgage
79. Renovation – Francoise Bollack Architects, Construction Budget
80. Capital Campaign “Powsner History Summary” 1995
81. Capital Campaign – Feasibility Study 1994
82. Capital Campaign 1995
83. Capital Campaign Steering Committee 1995 (Timeline of Center History)
84. Capital Campaign Proposal Requesting a Capital Gift 1995

Box 4

85. Mortgage, Satisfaction of & Agreement, city of New York 1989
86. Capital Campaign Report on structural Probing 1994
[Photos Snapshots(sizes include 3 ¼ by 3 ½, 3 ½ by 5, 4 by 6: & 8 by 12) [see scanned Images “Powsner (080)”]
87. Steven & Bruce 1977, 1982, 1983
88. Bruce – youth & Family
89. Bruce in leather, in plaid, later years with flowers, AIDS Quilt
90. Family – Steven’s (prom? And travel)
91. Steven – baby pictures with father & mother, youth, first apartment, 1980
92. Family – Stevens young people, identify
93. Steven “Pretty Maids”
94. Fire Island Party (Steven with balloons)
95. Fire Island (house, pool, with Brazilian friend)
96. Steven & Brazilian Friend (Sidney)
97. Apartment interior, party shots
98. Steven & Guest 1987
99. Steven, 31st birthday party
100. Travel – Brazil, Rio de Janeiro – two trips
101. Travel – France, Paris, Chartres, Versailles
102. Travel – Foreign with Bruce, (Rome)
103. Travel – England (London, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle)
104. Travel – Italy, Venice, Pisa (with mother?), Milano, Rome, Florence
105. Steven & Ben
106. Exhibit at Center October – December 2005, scanned photos under Images, 176, 178, 179, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 201, 253, 264, & 296