• Identification00210865
  • TitleDescriptive Inventory for the Center on Halsted records, 1999-2007, bulk 2000-2007
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationCenter on Halsted
  • Date
    • 1999-2007
    • 2000-2007
  • Physical Description5 linear feet (4 boxes)
  • LocationMSS Lot C
  • LanguageEnglish

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Gift of Patrick Sheahan (accession #: 2009.0072.1).

Please cite this collection as Center on Halsted records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Board minutes, fundraising and benefit materials, and administrative papers of the Center on Halsted, a social service organization for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Chicago, about planning, consolidating and extending social and health services in a new building to be constructed at 3656 North Halsted (opened in 2007). Includes timeline, budget, contracts, cost estimates, floor plans, space needs, and transition planning relating to the new building and newspaper clippings about the construction. The building adheres to green design standards and includes meeting and recreation areas, a coffee shop, a gallery, and a memorial garden, in addition to areas for services that the organization provided for many years under its previous name, Horizons Community Services. Planning involved review of services provided by other organizations and strategies to fund improved services at the new building.

The Center on Halsted grew out of Gay Horizons, a service organization for the LGBT community of Chicago. The volunteer-run organization began in 1973 and served as an information resource and medical clinic. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Gay Horizons moved several times and expanded their services to include counseling, legal advice, AIDS service projects, as well as programs for young people. In 1984, Gay Horizons hired two paid staff members and the next year changed its name to Horizons Community Services, Inc. By the 1990s, Horizons held numerous conferences and won several awards for superior services. In 1995, the budget consisted of $1.2 million, and it expanded to include programs for mature adults. In 2001, the Center on Halsted project began an effort to acquire new property on Halsted and expand the community center.

Fundraising for the $20 million capital campaign for the new Center on Halsted began in 2003. The Center formed a new board of directors and signed a tenant agreement with Whole Foods. It was awarded several grants from the State of Illinois, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. Individual donors included Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor Rod Blagojevich, and Billie Jean King, who was a major figure in the fundraising campaign. She organized a benefit, and the recreation hall at the Center is named in her honor. Funds were also raised through the Human First benefit dinners, which had existed since 1990. The progress of the Center and its anticipated impact on the community and the city as a whole was well publicized in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Free Press, Windy City Times, and Crain's Chicago Business.

The transition process for constructing the Center on Halsted was overseen by the board of directors and its sub committees, and included Patrick Sheahan, chairman of the board. The existing building at 3640 North Halsted Street, was built in 1924 by David Klafter. In agreement with the City of Chicago and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Center dismantled the original facade of the old building and reconstructed it after the new building was built. The Center incorporated green design and technology into the new building to such an extent that the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) awarded it a silver rating. The 55,000 square foot building opened in June 2007, and Center on Halsted occupied three stories at 3656 North Halsted (in the complex with a Whole Foods grocery).

The Center on Halsted's new location allowed an expansion of its programming. The Center holds social events for LGBT community members of all ages. There is available meeting space for local organizations, a coffee shop, recreational space, a gallery, and a rooftop memorial garden. The Center also provides social services, such as mental health services, an information hotline, HIV/STD prevention and treatment, a cyber center with technological training, as well as various advocacy programs.

  • Names
    • King, Billie Jean
    • Sheahan, Patrick
    • Center on Halsted (Chicago, Ill.) -- Archives
    • Horizons Community Services (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Subject
    • Gays--Illinois--Chicago--21st century
    • Sexual minorities--Illinois--Chicago--21st century
    • Social service--Illinois--Chicago--21st century
    • Sustainable architecture--Illinois--Chicago--21st century
  • Geographic Coverage
    • 3656 North Halsted Street (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions--21st century
    • Lakeview (Chicago, Ill.)

The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1. Board of Directors, 2001-2007 (box 1-2)

Series 1 consists of meeting minutes and discussion material of the Board of Directors and Steering Committee's procedures for the Center on Halsted. This series documents the Center's goals and progress. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series 2. Events and fundraising 2002-2007 (box 2-3)

Series 2 contains files on fundraising materials, benefit events, and correspondence. It includes materials about the Humans First Gala, the Billie Jean King benefit, as well as smaller fundraising events. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series 3. Planning materials, 1999-2010 (box 3-4)

Series 3 contains administrative materials regarding the construction of the Center on Halsted. Materials include building timeline, budget, contracts, cost estimates, floor plans, space needs, and transition planning. This series is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Series 4. Newspaper clippings, 2003-2007 (box 4)

Series 4 consists of newspaper clippings about the planning and construction of the Center on Halsted. This series is arranged alphabetically by newspaper title.