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Local landmarks from Chicagos rich history of sexual adventurers, revolutionaries, misfits, and crackpots by DENNIS RODKIN
1 The LEATHER ARCHIVES & MUSEUM (6418 N. Greenview Ave.) contains fetish costumes and gear, S&M instruments, flags of leather clubs from around the world, and gay leather paintings by Etienne (the late Chicago-born artist, dancer, and choreographer Dom Orejudos). 13 The first PLAYBOY CLUB (116 E. Walton St.) opened on February 29, 1960. 14 In the 1930s, the citys bohemian cognoscenti hung out at the DIL PICKLE CLUB (10 W. Tooker Place), frequently discussing such transgressive topics as homosexuality and sexual adventure. 15 HAROLD and STANLEY MCCORMICK, the rich sons of the reaper king Cyrus McCormick, grew up during the 1880s in an opulent Chicago mansion (675 N. Rush St.). But money cant buy you love: After divorcing his wife (a Rockefeller heir), Harold married a young opera singer but only after receiving the transplanted testicles of a monkey. As for Stanley, his marriage likely went unconsummated, and he spent the last decades of his life confined to a California estate because of his compulsive masturbation and violent attacks on women.
16 Offended by the provocative pinups 27 When NICHOLAS DE RAYLAN, a Spanish-American War veteran and secretary to the Russian consul in Chicago, died in 1906, he left behind a surprise: He was actually a womanwhich came as a shock to his two former wives. The consulate stood at the southwest corner of LaSalle and Adams streets. 28 In the early decades of the 20th century, MAX STEIN PUBLISHING (508 S. State St.) printed Confessions of a French Stenographer and other supposedly racy literature. 29 Beginning in 1971, WEIRD HAROLDS (541 S. Wabash Ave.) was home to an adult bookstore, a massage parlor, and nude models interested in more than just a photo session. After a series of police raids, the city shut down the store in 1975. 30 On February 25, 1968, at the Conrad Hilton hotel (720 S. Michigan Ave.), CYNTHIA PLASTER CASTERborn in Chicago in 1947 as Cynthia Albrittonmade a plaster cast of Jimi Hendrixs penis. 31 After sensationally appearing as a nearly naked equestrian Lady Godiva at the opening of the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933, SALLY RAND went on to titillate fairgoers with her ostrichfeather fan dances. 32 Managed by Minna and Ada Simms from 1900 to 1911, the EVERLEIGH CLUB (2131 S. Dearborn St.) was the citys most sumptuous brothel. 33 The SAPPHO (2159 S. Dearborn St.), in the Levee vice district, staged lesbian entertainments for male customers. 34 Owned by the white slaver Ike Bloom, FREIBERGS DANCE HALL (20 E. 22nd St.) offered liquor and sex, ending its 19-year run after it was shut down by





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2 Founded by Chuck Renslow and Dom Orejudos in 1972, MANS COUNTRY (5015 N. Clark St.) is the oldest gay bathhouse in Chicago. 3 Once the setting for vaudeville shows, the 82-year-old ADMIRAL THEATRE (3940 W. Lawrence Ave.) is today an all-nude strip club. 4 The first African American to win the heavyweight-boxing crown, JACK JOHNSON (1878-1946), who outraged white audiences with his overtly sexual persona and his marriages to three white women, is buried at Graceland Cemetery (4001 N. Clark St.). 5 In 1914, at DIVERSEY BEACH (now


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Diversey Harbor), Chicago officials erected a fence extending into Lake Michigan to separate male and female swimmers. After loud protests, the fence came down the following summer.
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P LAYBOY M ANSION (11) 6 In 1947, the gritty Chicago writer NELSON ALGREN and the French protofeminist SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR began their torrid love affair in Algrens apartment at 1523 West Wabansia Avenue (now demolished). 7 In 1964, Cook County sheriff Richard Ogilvie led a raid on a gay bar, LOUIES FUN LOUNGE (2340 N. Mannheim Rd., Melrose Park); 109 people were arrested. 8 In 1924, while living at 1710 North Crilly Court, HENRY GERBER cofounded the Society for Human Rights, the countrys first gay-rights organization.

drawn by Alberto Vargas for ESQUIRE based then in the Palmolive Building (919 N. Michigan Ave.)the U.S. Postmaster General revoked the magazines money-saving second-class mailing license in 1944; the Supreme Court overturned that ruling in 1946.
17 In 1954, Hugh Hefner moved PLAYBOY out of his apartment into 11 East Superior Street, across the street from Holy Name Cathedral. Subsequent offices were at 232 East Ohio Street and 919 North Michigan Avenue (known from 1965 to 1990 as the Playboy Building). 18 In August 1999, Jim McBride launched what is now MRSKIN.COM, a website devoted to cataloging onscreen nudity by female celebrities, in a 39th-floor apartment at Ontario Place (10 E. Ontario St.). The business later relocated to Bucktown.


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9 Steve Toushins BIJOU THEATRE (1349 N. Wells St.), in operation since 1969, claims to be the longest-running gay-porn theatre in the United States. 10 On June 27, 1970, gay activists met at WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (Walton and Dearborn streets) and marched on to the Water Tower and the Chicago Civic Center (now the Richard J. Daley Center), laying the foundation for the annual Chicago Pride Parade. 11 Built by a Chicago doctor in 1899, this grand home (1340 N. State Parkway) served as Hugh Hefners PLAYBOY MANSION from 1959 to 1984. 12 In 1954, Chuck Renslow opened

19 In the VIAGRA TRIANGLE (bounded by Chicago Avenue and State and Rush streets), rich older men prey on pretty young womenor is it the other way around? 20 On December 27, 1934, acting on orders from Mayor Ed Kelly, police closed the STAR AND GARTER (815 West Madison St.), an old burlesque house famous for nude girlie shows and prostitution. That same day, they also shut down two womens cross-dressing clubs: the Rosal (1251 N. Clark St.) and the 1230 (1230 N. Clybourn Ave.) .
21 In a 1946 drawing class at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave.), a 20-year-old HUGH HEFNER first laid eyes on a fully nude woman. 22 In October 1913, under the direction of superintendent Ella Flagg Young, the Chicago Public Schools, headquartered at 7 South Dearborn Street, launched the countrys first SEXUAL EDUCATION CLASSES. Fearing that students were being corrupted, protesting parents and school board members shut down the program in June 1914. 23 At the Reliance Building (32 N. State

reformers in 1914; reborn as the Midnight Frolics, it burned down in 1934.

35 On January 16, 1914, likely at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois (situated then at Harrison and Wolcott streets), DR. G. FRANK LYDSTON, striving (unsuccessfully) for sexual revitalization, grafted onto himself a testicle removed from a dead young man. 36 From 1865 to 1890, ERRING WOMENS REFUGE (3111 S. Indiana Ave.) helped prostitutes get out of the sex trade by providing them education, job training, and medical care. 37 The COZY CABIN CLUB (3119 S. Cottage Grove Ave.), billed in the 1930s as Chicagos Oddest Nightery, drew mixed-race audiences for performances by black female impersonators. 38 The trumpeter Ernestine Tiny Davis and her partner, the drummer Ruby Lucas, ran the 1950s lesbian bar TINY AND RUBYS GAY SPOT (2711 S. Wentworth Ave.); it was demolished to make way for the Dan Ryan Expressway. 39 FINNIES BALL, an annual black drag ball that began in a basement bar near 38th Street and Michigan Avenue in 1935, continued into the 1960s at the Chicago Coliseum (1653 S. Wabash Ave.). 40 At the apartment (6052 S. Harper Ave.) he shared with his wife, Millie, Hugh Hefner produced the FIRST ISSUE OF PLAYBOY in 1953. 41 On the Midway Plaisance of the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition, the dancer LITTLE EGYPT entranced men with her suggestive gyrations. 42 In 1965, Jimmy Fleming, an African American, bought THE JEFFERY PUB (7041 S. Jeffery Blvd.). Today it is the oldest gay bar in Chicago. 43 In the early 1950s, the JOHN BAUMGARTH CALENDAR CO. (3001 W. North Ave., Melrose Park) printed a girlie calendar with a retouched photo of a naked Marilyn Monroe (the company had added a swimsuit to the picture); Hugh Hefner later bought the nude photo for the first issue of Playboy. I

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KRIS STUDIO (7 W. Maple St.), where he began shooting mens physique photos; it later relocated to 22 West Van Buren Street before closing in the late 1970s.

St.) in the 1930s, DR. BEN REITMAN treated tramps, prostitutes, and other undesirables for syphilis.
24 In February 1915, some 1,500 people

gathered at Orchestra Hall (220 S. Michigan Ave.) to hear EDITH LEES ELLIS, the openly lesbian wife of the British sexologist Havelock Ellis, deliver a speech entitled Sexuality and Eugenics, an early modern defense of homosexuality.

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25 TRIUMPH GYM (22 W. Van Buren St.) was the setting for beefcake photos shot for Mars magazine, a short-lived gay publication from 1963. 26 Kitty-corner from todays Harold Washington Library (400 S. State St.) stood a late 19th-century PANEL HOUSE, an unscrupulous brothel. When a john hung his clothes on a strategically located chair or peg in the hookers room, her confederate, hidden behind the wall, slid open a panel and stole the mans wallet.


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Research assistance by Leopold Froehlich, Playboy; Jill Grannan, Sarah Marcus, and John Russick, Chicago History Museum; Kinsey Institute at Indiana University; Stuart Michaels, University of Chicago; Chuck Renslow; Tim Samuelson, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; Karen Sendziak (Gerber/Hart Library); Timothy Stewart-Winter, PhD candidate, University of Chicago