Harrys oil can recommended for Monument Stauts

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Heritage Commission on Thursday recommended that City Council designate Oil Can Harry’s, which closed in January, as a historic and cultural monument as it is one of the oldest gay bars in the San Fernando Valley.

Oil Can Harry’s was opened in 1968 by Bert Charot in Studio City. It closed in January after the property owner sold the property to a buyer who wanted to turn it into a jazz venue, according to Oil Can Harry’s website.

“Oil Can Harry’s was founded against the background of the group’s increasing opposition to homophobia within the gay civil rights movement in Los Angeles,” said urban planning assistant Mickie Torres-Gil.

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“Although Studio City’s neighbors initially met protests, Oil Can Harry’s quickly became a safe haven for the gay community. … allowing them to stop same-sex dances or activities. “

Torres-Gil added that the club became a “community support and fundraising hub” during the AIDS epidemic, and Charot and his friend Bob Tomasino, who later ran Oil Can Harry’s, raised funds for the AIDS help.

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The club also became a venue for the country western subculture of the LGBTQ + community, hosting country dance classes and special western-themed events two days a week, Torres-Gil said.

The Los Angeles Conservancy called the meeting to endorse the nomination and thank Alderman Paul Krekorian for the presentation.

“It’s a very important place in terms of the importance of LGBTQ + in Los Angeles, especially in the San Fernando Valley, where there aren’t many places to tell this story,” said Adrian Scott Fine, Conservancy’s senior director of advocacy.

The nomination next goes to the city council for final approval.

An HCM designation protects the property from alteration and demolition, and the commission would have to approve proposed exterior and interior changes.

According to the City Planning Bureau, the commission may also object to the issuance of a demolition permit delaying the demolition by up to 180 days, plus another possible 180 day extension if approved by the city council to give time to evaluate conservation alternatives.

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Harrys oil can recommended for Monument Stauts

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