There's one more National Landmark to see when visiting the windy city of Chicago.
The National Park Service announced that Chicago's Henry Gerber House will be designated a National Historic Landmark. Old Town's Henry Gerber House, a starting place for the history of gay rights in Chicago is now officially recognized. While this is only the second LGBT-related property to achieve this distinction (the Stonewall Inn of New York is the other one), the home itself has a long history.
Built in 1885, the home at 1710 North Crilly Court was the birthplace of The Society for Human Rights in 1924, becoming the first gay civil rights organization in the nation. – chicago.curbed.com
It's a pretty good hike from Boystown, about 3 miles Southeast of the gay village and represented on the map above by the yellow mark. If I'm in Chicago, I'll make the hike or train ride. I remember my visit to Stonewall many many years ago. I keep that trip and the sights as a good foundation as I learn more and more each year about our LGBT history.
So why is this house so important to the nation's LGBT past?
Henry Gerber was a soldier stationed in Germany during the years after WWI. Inspired by the work German activists were doing to overturn their country's anti-homosexual laws, upon his return to the country and 1924 move to Chicago, he began writing and organizing. He only lived at the home on Crilly Court between 1924 and 1925, but managed to found both the Society for Human Rights and the publication Friendship and Freedom. Quite productive. – chicago.curbed.com
The home was previously awarded Chicago landmark status on June 6, 2001. It only took fourteen years for the National Park Service and current Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to name the home to the National Registry.
Question for our Chicagoans. Have you been and if so, are there any placards or information present near, in or outside the Henry Gerber House yet? I am sure now that it is a National Landmark, more will come soon.
I admit, I am not the best historian when it comes to LGBT history. Are there places in your town that should be considered LGBT historical landmarks? I can think of a possible candidate in New Orleans. Here's a link to a book being sold on Amazon about the Upstairs Lounge fire.