Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Man's Country Bathhouse For Sale

According to an article in Windy City Times, Man's Country bathhouse at 5017 North Clark Street is for sale.

Owner Chuck Renslow announced to his employees that he will be selling the building, which has been around since 1907 and was originally built as a lodge hall.

A legendary retreat for the gay community, Man's Country opened in 1973, just a few years after the Stonewall Riots. Modeled on the fabled Continental Baths in New York, it has been an epicenter of activism, entertainment, and hedonism over the past decades.

Man's Country will keep its doors open and business will continue as usual while a seller is being sought.

The Windy City Times article includes a lot of history over the 43 years that Man's Country has existed. Check it out here.

One paragraph in particular serves as a wonderful summation:
Renslow is rightfully proud to say that for a long while Man's Country was the finest bathhouse in the country. After 43 years, the eventual closing of these doors will also be the end of an era. For generations Man's Country stood as a symbol for the evolution of gay liberation and consciousness. Though its original grandeur has tarnished, the value and necessity of this building and it's place in the evolution of Chicago LGBT history cannot be minimized.


  1. Man's Country are great neighbors - I hope the new owner of the building continues the tradition.

  2. It was also a hangout for Jeffrey Dahmer. One of his victims had a Man's Country business card on him.

    1. If one of his VICTIMS had a Man's Country business card on him, then it was a hangout for the VICTIM--I've never heard of Daimler hanging out there, but did hear about him hanging out at Carol's Speakeasy in Old Town, where he did pick up at least one of his victims.

    2. Dahmer also hung out at Little Jim's (corner of Halsted and Cornelia)...this was when "Boystown" was still known as "New Town". Another serial killer guy hung out there, too (I forget his name, this was a few years after Dahmer)...

  3. As a former employee of Man's Country, I can confirm that Dahmer had a membership at the club at some point. His account was still in the computers at that time, and I physically saw his original card he had to fill out to get a membership. It was creepy. But I have fond memories of Chuck and MC that will always stay with me. RIP Chuck <3

  4. I have been a member of Mans Country since 1979. I was 18 years old. I have so many fond memories of that place. I've seen all the changes over the years, and I haven't been there in 10 years. I would always see Chuck there and he would always say hi and maybe some small talk, I don't think he ever remembered my name but always recognized me and was always very friendly. I live out of the state now, but would love to visit the place one last time before it is gone. I will always remember Mans Country and Chuck Renslow. Some of the best time of my life. RIP Chuck.

  5. I wish to purchase the building, who do I dontact?