After 44 years in business, Man’s Country has decided to close its doors forever. But not without going out with a bang, by having a 13-hour disco party that beings New Year’s Eve.
The property where the business sit on is being sold for condo development. Which will be called “The Renslow”, a tribute to LGBTQ businessman and gay rights pioneer Chuck Renslow. Though business has dipped, there is still a market for the baths. But the days of the big bathhouse business is over. Property taxes is what prompted Owner Ron Ehemann to put the building up for sale saying
“As bathhouses go, it’s not that the age of bathhouses is over, but the age of these gigantic bathhouses is probably over. The building is just really, really large. The upkeep has gotten expensive. Real estate taxes is what really killed Man’s Country.”
Chicago author and historian Owen Keehnen says about the loss of Man’s Country is akin to
“a gay version of seeing the house you grew up in torn down. It was everything. A place of sexual liberation, social ease with being gay and community building.”
The final New Year’s Eve bash, called “Loose Ends: The Man’s Country Chicago Closing Party,” is open to “all genders and gender non-conformists,” according to its Eventbrite page. This 13-hour “disco rave” begins at 11 p.m. Sunday and is slated to end at noon Monday.
To read more about the closure of Man’s Country go to Man’s Country, Chicago’s oldest gay bathhouse, closing after 44 years
Plus watch video below courtesy of the Chicago Tribune