Robert Williams Tag

Black is Beautiful – The Warehouse


The Warehouse is one of the foremost prominent and founding clubs of house music. In fact I heard someone say the music is named after this club. Originally located at 206 S Jefferson St in Chicago, the club was founded by Robert Williams and his partner Ron Braswell in 1975. Williams moved from NYC to Chicago and at the urging of friends and boredom decided to start throwing parties. He brought in Frankie Knuckles (godfather of house) who was then a protege of Larry Levan and Nicky Siano. He had renowned engineer Robert Long build the sound system for the 3 floored club and convinced Frankie to come play; telling him it was his club to program the sound. What they did together was create a sound and movement that brought in people from all over the midwest, east coast, and soon the US to dance. It was founded as a queer Black club (men and women) with membership cards. This was to keep the vibe but also to protect the community. Soon, hetero folks, and friends of all ethnicities were invited by members as well. The sound system was incredible and they played underground music that you couldn’t hear on the radio. The club closed after the city threatened to close it for structural issues; think hundreds of people stomping and jumping in parties that started at midnight and ran until the next morning. As someone who didn’t grow up with house, but who now loves it this history is remarkable. The Warehouse is a historical monument right up there w/ clubs like the Loft, Paradise Garage, Studio 54, and the Music Box (also founded by Williams).
Sources: I Remember When House Took Over the World documentary, Red Bull Radio, Ron Trent via Creative mornings
Speaking of places, check out this piece of :
Marcus Books and Soulbeat in Oakland California.

If you’re following along this year, the last piece I did was of Race Car driver Cheryl Linn Glass