Chicago Landmarks

Henry Gerber House

Crilly Ct. elevation     Address: 1710 N. Crilly Court
Year Built: 1885
Architect: Unknown
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: June 6, 2001

Entry Located in the Old Town Triangle Chicago Landmark District, this stone-fronted rowhouse is individually distinguished as the home of pioneering gay civil-rights activist Henry Gerber (1892-1972) between 1924 and 1925. During his residency here, Gerber formed the Society for Human Rights, the first American gay civil-rights organization, whose newsletter, Friendship and Freedom, was the first documented gay civil-rights publication in the United States.

While serving with the U.S. Army of Occupation in Germany from 1920 to 1923, Gerber became active in the emerging German gay civil-rights movement. He may have been involved in the publication of German gay civil-rights periodicals at that time, laying the foundation for his later work in Chicago. Upon his relocation to Chicago, Gerber established the Society for Human Rights with a group of early gay civil-rights advocates who were willing to accept the personal risk of publicly identifying themselves as homosexuals at a time when gay men and lesbians routinely faced discrimination, harassment, and imprisonment.