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The Warehouse was a nightclub established in Chicago, Illinois in 1977 under the direction of Robert Williams. It is today most famous for being what many consider to be the birthplace and heart of "house music" in the United States under its first musical director, DJ Frankie Knuckles.



A broad spectrum of dance music was played there; however, first and foremost were R'n'B and Disco. Knuckles experimented with different possibilities of developing an original expression, mixing disco music with European electronic music.[citation needed] DJ History reports: "The style of music now known as house was so named after a shortened version of [Knuckles'] club."[1]

The Warehouse was patronized primarily by gay black and Latino men,[2] who came to dance to disco music played by the club's resident DJ, Frankie Knuckles. It was located at 206 South Jefferson Street in Chicago.[3]


After The Warehouse doubled its admission fee in late 1982, it grew more commercial and Knuckles decided to leave and start his own club, Power Plant[4] , to which his devoted followers followed. In response, the Warehouse's owners renamed it the Music Box and hired a new DJ named Ron Hardy[5]

Frankie Knuckles tributesEdit

In 2004, the city of Chicago - which "became notorious in the dance community around the world for passing the so-called 'anti-rave ordinance' in 2000 that made property owners, promoters and deejays subject to $10,000 fines for being involved in an unlicensed dance party" - named a stretch of street in downtown Chicago[6] after Knuckles, where the old Warehouse once stood, on Jefferson Street between Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street.[7] The Warehouse was actually on the Near West Side of Chicago, just outside downtown, referred to as "West Loop". That stretch of street, called Frankie Knuckles Way, was "renamed when the city declared 25 August 2004 as Frankie Knuckles Day. The Illinois state senator who helped make it happen was Barack Obama."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Def Mix: The house that Judy built". DJ History. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ "House". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ Ferguson, Joshua P. (2009-10-08). "Frankie Knuckles - Interview". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  4. ^ "Frankie Knuckles at Power House Club" on YouTube
  5. ^ Snoman, Rick (2009). The Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques — Second Edition. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press. p.233
  6. ^ "Frankie Knuckles: House pioneer dies aged 59". BBC. 1 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Greg Kot (April 1, 2004). Chicago Tribune.
  8. ^ Lars Brandle (April 1, 2014). "Frankie Knuckles, House Music Legend, Dies at 59". The Guardian. 

Frankie Knuckles Day Article 2004-09-01 Windy City Times

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°52′44″N 87°38′34″W / 41.87889°N 87.64278°W / 41.87889; -87.64278