Petition launched to save “birthplace” of house music, Chicago nightclub, The Warehouse

today16/03/2023 25

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A petition has been launched to protect the now-closed nightclub The Warehouse in Chicago due to its significance as the “birthplace” of house music.

Opened in 1977 with the direction of Robert Williams, the club is known to have pioneers house music with Frankie Knuckles as its resident DJ with the genre coining the name ‘house’ after The Warehouse.

Becoming a place for the Black and Latino LGBTQ+ community, The Warehouse had to close just five years after opening with Knuckles leaving his role as resident to open his own club, Power Plant.

Read this next: Listen to a previously unreleased Frankie Knuckles mix

The Warehouse went on to rebrand itself as Muzic Box with regular gigs from house DJ Ron Hardy.

The Warehouse building has been left standing on what is now named ‘Frankie Knuckles Way’, however, after being sold to new owners in December it has been noted for potential demolition as similar buildings have been undergoing the same process.

The Save the Warehouse! petition has been created by Preservation Chicago against the demolition of The Warehouse, as it states: “Despite its extraordinary role in music and cultural history, the Warehouse has ZERO protections against alterations or demolition”.

Read this next: Frankie Knuckles’ record collection is on display in New York

In the petition description, it explains: “Despite persistent outreach by Preservation Chicago, the new ownership has been unresponsive, and plans for the building’s future remain unknown.”

Preservation Chicago hope that this petition will lead to a Chicago Landmark Designation which they claim will fully protect the nightclub against demolition and inappropriate alteration.

Check out The Save the Warehouse! petition here.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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