A petition has been launched to preserve The Warehouse, a nightclub in Chicago that played a significant role in the birth of house music. The club opened its doors in 1977 under the direction of Robert Williams and quickly became known for pioneering the genre with Frankie Knuckles as its resident DJ. The name “house” was even coined after The Warehouse. The club became a haven for the Black and Latino LGBTQ+ community. However, The Warehouse had to close its doors just five years after opening, with Knuckles leaving to open his own club, Power Plant. The building was later rebranded as Muzic Box and had regular gigs from house DJ Ron Hardy.
The building still stands on what is now called “Frankie Knuckles Way,” but it’s at risk of demolition after being sold to new owners in December. Preservation Chicago has launched a petition called “Save the Warehouse!” to protect the nightclub against demolition and inappropriate alteration. Unfortunately, the new ownership has been unresponsive to persistent outreach from Preservation Chicago, and plans for the building’s future remain unknown.
The petition seeks to obtain a Chicago Landmark Designation, which would fully protect the nightclub against demolition and inappropriate alteration. Anyone interested in supporting this cause can check out The Save the Warehouse! petition here.