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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gerber House closer to national landmark status
by Matt Simonette
2015-02-12

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The Henry Gerber House, 1710 N. Crilly Ct., got a step closer to becoming a National Historic Landmark Feb. 12, according to reports. It would be the second LGBT-related National Historic Landmark, after the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

The National Park System Advisory Board National Historic Landmarks Committee approved the recognition in a unanimous vote in Washington D.C.

Rainbow Heritage Network (RHN), which advocates for the recognition and preservation of historic LGBT sites, petitioned for the house to receive the national designation, and has argued that the LGBT community is significantly underrepresented in the National Park Service's inventory of historic places.

According to a Feb. 13 RHN press release, the nomination goes next to the National Park Service Advisory Board in May, and then to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for final approval.

Gerber organized the first homosexual civil rights organization at the house, which is located in the Old Town Triangle Chicago Landmark District. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 2001.

In a statement, RHN Executive Co-Chairs Mark Meinke and Megan Springate said, "Recognition of the Gerber house as an NHL will pay tribute to the pioneering civil rights work of Gerber and the Society for Human Rights (SHR) which he founded in 1924 and which was the first chartered organization publicly advocating on behalf of an oppressed homosexual minority. The SHR disbanded in 1925 after Gerber and other members were taken into custody without charge. Gerber continued to advocate for homosexual rights, and his influence is felt in the founding of the Mattachine Society and other groups in the 1950s. The ongoing campaign for equal treatment under the law of all lgbtq citizens traces its origin and much inspiration to this pioneer and his organization. Recognition of the Gerber house will acknowledge the extraordinary significance of 1710 North Crilly Court not only to LGBTQ citizens, but to America's own account of its civil rights struggles."

The Gerber House nomination can be read at www.nps.gov/nhl/news/committee.htm .

Earlier coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Gerber-House-to-de-considered-for-national-landmark-status/50452.html .


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