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Gerber House is 2nd National LGBT Landmark

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The Henry Gerber House is a house at 1710 North Crilly Court in the Old Town Triangle Chicago Landmark District of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The house was built in 1885. In the 1920s it housed the apartment occupied by Henry Gerber, founder of the short-lived Society for Human Rights, which was incorporated in Illinois as the first American organization working for gay rights. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 6, 2001. This month, it was designated a United States’ National Historic Landmark.

The  Gerber House is only the second LGBT-related property in the country to receive the recognition. The iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City is the other building listed primarily for its impact in LGBT history, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Carrie Barnett, board president of the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, said the spotlight on Gerber and his home helps to fill in the historical narrative of the gay rights movement. The library in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood is named for Gerber and Pearl M. Hart, an attorney who also fought for the rights of gays and lesbians.

“Given the often hidden and erased nature of gay and lesbian history, and the frequent difficulty of finding even basic documents pertaining to such history, it is doubly fortunate that this house has remained so well preserved,” the landmark application states.

The recognition of the Gerber House is part of an effort by the Interior Department to document a more complete story of the gay rights movement. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the initiative in May 2014.