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The Houston Eagle Unveils Its Historic Phoenix Room

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Story and photos by Brandon Wolf

Houston’s LGBT community has a very rich history, but local historians admit that our community’s awareness of it is limited. Efforts have been made to change that—archives established, exhibits displayed, articles written, speakers scheduled—all with minimal success.

The unique Banner Project, a portable exhibit of notable images from Houston’s LGBT history archives, has reached further than any previous efforts. Now, the Houston Eagle bar has opened a second-floor party space called the Phoenix Room that features a fascinating array of historic images—an innovative concept that promises to reach an even wider audience.

History Buff: Mark De Lange, owner of the Houston Eagle.
History Buff: Mark De Lange, owner of the Houston Eagle.

Figuring that it’s easier to get people to a popular club than to a history exhibit, Eagle owner Mark De Lange decided to bring history right into Houston’s LGBT club scene. His new Phoenix Room is a full-service bar space that surrounds customers with Houston’s LGBT history dating back as far as 1937. De Lange hopes that partying and learning about LGBT history will no longer be mutually exclusive activities.

The room features a timeline of our community’s history, a huge montage of LGBT publications since the 1960s, and an equally impressive montage of ads from gay bars in existence before 1985 and now closed. The focal point of the room is a full-sized recreation of the iconic 1997 Mary’s bar mural that was destroyed in 2006.

De Lange says that nearly 3,000 customers now pass through the room every weekend. Multiple wall mirrors reflect images of the murals, giving them a sense of infinity that is unlike anything ever seen before in a Houston LGBT club.

It All Started with the Mural

De Lange says he remembers the original mural that covered the exterior east wall of Mary’s bar, at Westheimer and Waugh, for nearly 10 years. The in-your-face mural featured a happy cast of colorful characters partying inside Mary’s, including two shirtless leather men with hirsute chests and bulging crotches who are peering into each other’s eyes with unbridled lust. Looking on, or playing pool, is the cast of other bar regulars. Sitting attentively on a stool in the center is Mr. Balls, a stray cat with extremely large testicles that became the bar’s feline mascot.

The mural disappeared in 2006, painted over with blue sky and fluffy clouds while humorously leaving behind only Mr. Balls. The gentrification of Montrose is assumed to be responsible for the loss.

Mary’s closed in 2009 after 39 years of operation. In 2011, the building was purchased and renovation was begun to convert it into Blacksmith, a gourmet coffee shop. The new owner allowed the Joanna Art Collective to reproduce the mural for Pride Month 2011, with the understanding that the image’s existence would be temporary.

The Mural Lives On: Cody Ledvina, who supervised the 2011 recreation with the help of two dozen art-student volunteers, told the media: “This mural is a public-art masterpiece. The City of Houston doesn’t have many notable public art spaces. Where there is public art, it’s big and oppressive. This is the opposite—it’s open, democratic, and fun.”
The Mural Lives On: Cody Ledvina, who supervised the 2011 recreation with the help of two dozen art-student volunteers, told the media: “This mural is a public-art masterpiece. The City of Houston doesn’t have many notable public art spaces. Where there is public art, it’s big and oppressive. This is the opposite—it’s open, democratic, and fun.”

Cody Ledvina, who supervised the 2011 recreation with the help of two dozen art-student volunteers, told the media: “This mural is a public-art masterpiece. The City of Houston doesn’t have many notable public art spaces. Where there is public art, it’s big and oppressive. This is the opposite—it’s  open, democratic, and fun.”

After the 2011 reproduction disappeared, De Lange began his effort to recreate it again in 2014 when he purchased the former 611 Club and converted it into the Houston Eagle. De Lange inquired around and connected with the original mural’s artist, Scott Swoveland, who had since moved to Indianapolis.

De Lange wanted Swoveland to come to Houston and recreate his 1997 Mary’s mural on the east wall of Eagle’s outdoor patio. But Swoveland wasn’t easily convinced. In the 20 years since he had painted the mural, his artistic style had matured. Swoveland wasn’t sure he wanted to be remembered for a piece that he considered artistically inferior. If he recreated it, he wanted to update it to reflect his current artistic style.

The two men discussed different ideas—even expanding the mural on both sides to include more characters. But De Lange remained steadfast—he wanted the mural to look exactly like it did in 1997.

Meanwhile, De Lange began to consider renovating the Eagle’s second floor into commercial space. The original owners had run a grocery store on the ground floor and lived upstairs. De Lange decided to have the mural recreated in the new second-floor bar space, where Swoveland’s mural wall could become the central feature.

Construction had just begun when the Eagle suffered a fire caused by aging aluminum wiring on the second floor. The bar closed for the first six months of 2016 while the damage was repaired. Fortunately, the reconstruction process allowed De Lange to completely rethink his plans for the second-floor bar space.

By the summer of 2016, De Lange and Swoveland had reached an agreement: the Mary’s mural would be recreated in its original form, and Swoveland would also be commissioned to paint six striking pictures of masculine men to line the remaining walls. The new images would give Swoveland the opportunity to showcase his maturing artistic style.

The Mural Goes High-Tech

As De Lange pondered the future of the historic Mary’s mural, he realized that time and misfortune would eventually take a toll. To ensure the permanence of the artwork, De Lange asked Swoveland to paint the mural at a much smaller size, but using the same proportions as the original. That painting was then scanned at extremely high resolution, digitally enlarged to the size of the original mural, and printed on durable vinyl strips.

After the printed strips were glued to the wall, the seams were hidden using a “blowtorch” touch-up technique. The finished product is stunningly vivid and realistic, and the mural is now safe for perpetuity since it can easily be reprinted using the scanned digital image.

As the resident artist at Mary’s bar for 10 years, Swoveland was employed to repaint the bar’s front window on a regular basis—usually to advertise an upcoming function or pay tribute to recent national events. One of his window scenes in 1997 was inspired by a gay greeting card showing a wide-eyed Dorothy and Toto from The Wizard of Oz in the middle of a leather bar—the prototype for his now-famous wall mural.

The image made its way to Mary’s prominent exterior east wall after James “Fannie” Farmer, the owner of Mary’s, asked Swoveland to replace a smaller mural that had been on that wall for years. Swoveland took his window design, removed Dorothy and Toto, and filled in the remaining space with people he knew and loved from Mary’s. The mural was meant to show a typical afternoon at Mary’s, as if the building’s front wall had magically disappeared to reveal the bar’s colorful interior.

Swoveland emphasizes that there was much more to his mural than just a brash public statement to an often-oppressive world that had little respect for the LGBT community. It also expressed three themes the artist felt deeply about: the importance of being true to who you are; the value of friendships; and living life to its fullest, even in the face of tribulations such as discrimination and AIDS.

Swoveland is still amazed at the popularity of his piece. “I thought it would be replaced in a year,” he says, looking back. But he’s pleased that it has endured, mostly because it pays tribute to the characters he loved—and who are mostly gone now.

The Concept Expands

De Lange was so pleased with the finished mural and its unique story that he began to take a similar interest in other community history that he felt was largely unknown. He launched an Internet search that landed him on the houstonlgbthistory.org website created and maintained by Houston LGBT history titan J.D. Doyle. This online resource was launched in 2001 as an adjunct to Doyle’s popular Queer Music Heritage radio show. In 2013, after being inspired by a comprehensive database of AIDS-related deaths in San Francisco, Doyle decided to expand the reach of his music archive by creating a Texas LGBT obituary database. He began by scanning and indexing the obituaries published in This Week in Texas (TWT), the statewide bar magazine that had served LGBT Texans for more than 25 years.

As Doyle made his way through the TWT obituaries, he became so fascinated by the iconic LGBT publication that he decided to build an online TWT library. He has now scanned and posted the contents of all but about 60 of TWT’s 1,518 issues.

By 2014, Doyle had moved all non-music materials to his new website, houstonlgbthistory.org. Currently totaling more than 10,000 pages, it ranks as the largest and most comprehensive online source of Houston LGBT history in existence.

De Lange soon became mesmerized by Doyle’s history website, and spent every free minute for weeks navigating through it. When De Lange came across a montage of past gay-bar ads created for the 2015 Heritage Society’s LGBT history exhibit, he contacted Doyle and asked him to create a much larger bar montage for the Phoenix Room. The two decided to limit the montage to Houston-area gay bars opened before 1985 that had since closed. Doyle’s original montage of 28 ads grew to include 86 bars. His friend and fellow historian Sara Fernandez digitally optimized the ads, and Doyle was careful to create visual contrast by alternating dark and light ad designs. He also separated bars that had occupied the same building under different names. His prize piece is a 1937 flyer found on eBay from The Wagon Wheel Nite Club, located at Airline and Little York, advertising a female-impersonator show.

Re-thinking the Room

With the bar montage completed, De Lange further refined his interior design plans by hanging Swoveland’s more recent works in the anteroom to the restrooms, leaving the remaining walls free. After becoming fascinated with the archive of Houston LGBT publications on Doyle’s website, De Lange spent weeks building a montage of 84 publication covers, including one TWT cover from each year of its publication. The oldest cover is a 1968 Albatross, and the first OutSmart cover from 1994 is also included. Numerous short-lived publications were launched in Houston over the years, including The Courier, Eclipse, Gala, MaleMan, UpFront, Mr., Houston Forum, Contact, LXIX, Out, and Montrose Area Pride.

Timeline Traces the Community’s Triumphs and Tragedies

Over the bar area hangs a historical timeline of Houston LGBT history interwoven with national LGBT history. The events depicted start in 1950 with the founding of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles and run through the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court marriage-equality ruling.

De Lange consulted with numerous local LGBT historians including Doyle, Fernandez, Craig Farrell, the Botts Archive of LGBT History, and the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of LGBT History—all of whom helped refine the timeline until a consensus was reached that it was both comprehensive and inclusive. Eighteen events are featured, including the 1953 founding of the Dianas, the 1978 Town Meeting I, the 1980 repeal of the cross-dressing ordinance, the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, and the 2009 election of Annise Parker as Houston’s mayor.

As one’s eyes sweep across the timeline, an awareness is created that change doesn’t happen overnight—or in a straight line. There are victories and there are defeats, but it’s all worth the effort.

On another wall, De Lange opted for a photo that Doyle took during the 1982 Pride Parade, of people filling the sidewalk in front of Mary’s and sitting on the rooftop. The photo went viral when it first appeared on Facebook a few years back, and it perfectly captures the spirit of the times.

Like the Mary’s mural, the process of digitization and hanging printed vinyl strips was used for the Phoenix Room’s other montages. The result is so realistic that one must actually touch a montage to realize it has been printed on vinyl. De Lange framed all of the historical pieces with wood that matched the room’s trim. Informational plaques were laser-cut into the wood and then hand-detailed with paint.

In addition to Swoveland’s five new works on the second floor, there is “Bo,” who resides on a wall next to the first-floor DJ booth. The ultimate leather-man’s dream, Bo has become the bar’s mascot. “Customers love to stand beside him for cell-phone photos,” says De Lange. It’s impossible to describe Bo—he just has to be experienced by visiting the club.

The Houston Eagle is the home bar of the Houston Bears, a charitable and social organization, so a large backlit sign honoring them also hangs in the Phoenix Room. The sign incurred minor damage during the fire, and the imperfections remain as an historical reminder. The Phoenix Room is dedicated to the memory of Gene Landry, a popular member of the leather community and mentor to many, who passed away in 2016, at the age of 47.

De Lange hopes to negotiate with Swoveland to offer limited-edition prints for sale in the Eagle’s leather shop. De Lange is also planning to sell greeting cards featuring a photo of the recreated Mary’s mural, with profits going toward maintaining Doyle’s website.

A Commitment to History

When De Lange bought the 611 bar, he retained several built-in trophy cases on the first floor that display leather/denim-club trophies. The trophy cases cause De Lange to smile as he points out that they originally housed live chickens when the building was a grocery store.

Several 611 scrapbooks that were inherited from the previous owner will be donated to the University of Houston’s new LGBT History Collections archive, along with De Lange’s planning sketches, blueprints, and other materials documenting the creation of the Phoenix Room. During a leather weekend this coming fall, De Lange hopes to bring Swoveland to Houston to see his recreated mural and to greet fans of his artwork.

The Phoenix Room is open weekends starting at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 4 p.m. on Sundays. The room is available for meetings, private parties, receptions, and fundraisers. Rental rates vary, based on the day of the week and how much staff is required to service the event.

The Diana Foundation was the first to book a function in the room, at which they honored
De Lange. The next booked event is the LGBT Alumni Association of the University of Houston.

De Lange says customers often get teary-eyed as they see reminders of their younger days, or gaze at the recreated Mary’s mural. Younger patrons show a profound interest in a past they know nothing about.

Buildings rise and fall. Bars open and close. People and organizations come and go. Leaders and traditions change with regularity. Triumphs are celebrated, and tragedies are mourned. To know where we are headed, we must consider where we have been. To understand who we are, we must reflect on who we were. And amidst this constant evolution, the only anchor is our history.

  • The Phoenix Room is on the second floor of the Houston Eagle, formerly the 611 Club.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • Mark De Lange, owner of the Houston Eagle, on the front porch of the club.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The Houston Eagle’s logo, in the outside patio area.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The Phoenix Room has innovatively combined clubbing and history.  Over the bar in the Phoenix Room is a timeline of Houston LGBT history.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The Houston Eagle is the home bar of the Houston Bears.  The sign in the Phoenix Room survived the fire that damaged the club in early 2016.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The infamous Mary’s Mural, a community icon, has returned – and this time it’s here to stay.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • A montage of Houston LGBT publications features nearly 100 covers, some dating back to the 1960’s.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • A huge montage of ads for Houston LGBT clubs fills another wall of the room.  The oldest ad is from 1937.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • A picture of Mary’s Bar during the 1982 Pride Parade captures the look and spirits of the times.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The Phoenix Room started with Mark De Lange’s love for the original Mary’s Mural.  Photo: JJ Emos
  • Like many others in the community, De Lange was saddened the mural fell victim to the gentrification of Montrose, and was painted over in 2008.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The mural was created by Scott Swoveland (left), seen here with the late activist Brian Bradley.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Swoveland was the resident artist at Mary’s for a decade, starting in 1990, painting new designs on the front window nearly every week.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Swoveland’s windows were a reflection of the times. In 1994, he created this timeline celebrating Stonewall’s 25’s anniversary.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • This window celebrated the display of the Names Project Quilt on the National Mall in DC, in 1992.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Other designs advertised special events at Mary’s – or recognized elements of Houston life such as our hot summers.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Daddy of Montrose Don Gill’s benefit show “River of Dreams” was advertised on another window design.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Swoveland was commissioned to update a small mural on the east wall of Mary’s.  He added Janis Joplin, owner James Farmer, and Farmer’s dog. Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Swoveland loved the campy gay greeting card of Dorothy and Toto in a leather bar, and decided to create a front window based on it.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • The window was a big hit and became a Mary’s favorite.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • When the new owners wanted a different mural in 1997, Swoveland created this rendering based on the Dorothy window, including Farmer’s ghost.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • Swoveland with Frank “Rita Charles” Riojas – the inspiration for the drag queen in the blue dress.   Photo Courtesy Scott Swoveland
  • The first tribute to ‘lost mural’ was painted by artist Lane Hagood for an exhibit "Dis Dat Deez Doz Deux "  at the Joannex, in 2010.   Photo: Internet
  • The second tribute to ‘lost mural’ was painted by artist Cody Ledvina and the Joanna Collective, on it’s original site, in 2011.   Photo: swamplot.com
  • Ledvina and volunteer art students traced the outline of the mural on the wall from a projection and proceeded to paint in the detail.    Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • A volunteer works with the detail.  Mary’s had been closed for two years, but recently purchased for a coffee house.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The building had been purchased for a coffee shop, but the new owner agreed to allow the reproduction as temporary public art.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The finished mural, ready for the 2011 Pride Parade.   The mural was later painted over, and the building is now the Blacksmith Coffee Shop.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The third tribute to ‘lost mural’ was a reproduction hung on the west wall of nearby Copy.Com, for the 2014 parade.   The reproduction still exists.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The stylized detail of the Copy.Com reproduction.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • In 2014, De Lange found an opportunity to bring back the mural when he purchased the 611 Club.   Photo: 611 Archive Album
  • The 611 Club, all decorated up for the 1987 Houston Pride Parade.   Photo: 611 Archive Album
  • An archival photo of the 611 staff.   Photo: 611 Archive Album
  • The 611’s stained glass window.   Photo:  Internet
  • In 2014, the renovation of the 611 Club into the Houston Eagle is underway.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • In 2014, the renovation of the 611 Club into the Houston Eagle is underway. The building was first constructed as a grocery store and the owners lived upstairs.   Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • In 2014, the renovation of the 611 Club into the Houston Eagle is underway.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • In 2014, the renovation of the 611 Club into the Houston Eagle is underway.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange’s first idea was to recreate the mural on the east wall of the outside patio area (to the far right of the photo).  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • In early 2016, a fire started by aluminum wiring on the second floor, set the bar ablaze.  Photo: Mark De Lange
  • In 2016, the reconstruction after the fire is underway, and the bar closes for six months.  Photo: Mark De Lange
  • De Lange now had the opportunity to re-think the second floor as an additional bar.  He decided to recreate the mural on the main wall.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange contracted with Swoveland to recreate the mural. Swoveland sent him this photo of the partially completed recreation.   Photo: Scott Swoveland
  • De Lange holds up a copy of the completed recreation, against the wall where it will be placed.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • The recreation was digitized in super high-resolution and printed on wallpaper.  The strips were then glued to the wall, and made seamless with a blowtorch.  Photo: Mark De Lange
  • The finished recreation is in place.  If anything every happens to it, the digitized original will preserve the mural for posterity.   Photo: Mark De Lange
  • De Lange felt something was missing, and found his answer – framing the mural with the same wood used in the room’s trim.  Photo: Mark De Lange
  • The recreation is an exact reproduction, with one small difference.  Swoveland gave the leatherman at the left of the mural a Houston Eagle belt buckle.  Photo: Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange started researching Houston LGBT history, and quickly ended up on J.D. Doyle’s immense houstonlgbthistory.org website.  Photo:  houstonlgbthistory.org screenprint
  • Doyle began his website in 2001, as an adjunct to his radio show “Queer Music History”. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Doyle’s queer music collection is the most comprehensive in the world. He has gems like this original album from the famous Finocchio’s female impersonator club. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Doyle began to add other LGBT history to his music website.  Finally, he split off the general LGBT history to a separate website, houstonlgbthistory.org.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Doyle then began the enormous challenge of digitizing every copy of “This Week in Texas” and posting them on-line.     Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange was intrigued with this montage of Houston LGBT bar ads, and asked Doyle if he could make a larger one for a wall of his new bar room. Photo:  houtonlgbthistory.org
  • The original montage had been made for the 2015 LGBT history exhibit at the Heritage Society.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The bar exhibit was part of a larger exhibit in the Heritage Society’s display area.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Doyle created a montage nearly three times as large, which was then sepia-toned and scanned in high-resolution and printed as wallpaper.  Photo Courtesy J.D. Doyle
  • Doyle poses by the finished product, standing near the oldest bar ad, a 1937 flyer for a drag show at the Wagon Wheel Bar, at Airline and Little York. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Doyle points to one of his favorite ads, for the Brazos River Bottom, where he met his late partner.  Doyle taught a country-western dance class there.    Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange had signage made for the Phoenix Room, laser-cut into wood with the detail painted by hand. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange decided he wanted a whole room of Houston LGBT history. He began researching the online copies of “This Week in Texas”.   Photo:  houstonlgbthistory.org screenprint
  • De Lange spent weeks looking through the publications on Doyle’s website, and created a montage with nearly 100 covers. Photo Courtesy Mark De Lange
  • The oldest cover is from “The Albatross”, dated 1968, although the publication began earlier in the 1960’s. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • This TWT cover is De Lange’s favorite.   Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The first issue of “OutSmart” magazine in 1994.  The couple featured on the cover, Rob and Bob Jackson-Paris, have since separated. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange next decided the room needed a Houston LGBT history timeline, and decided to place it over the bar. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Working with a number of Houston LGBT historians, a timeline with 18 events covering 65 years was developed and once again made into wallpaper.  Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • It took clever design work to leave room for air conditioning ducts.   Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • The timeline includes major national LGBT milestones, and important Houston LGBT dates.  Houston’s Diana Foundation started in 1953.    Photo Courtesy Mark De Lange
  • The high points and low points together form an impressive history.   Photo Courtesy Mark De Lange
  • De Lange first planned a wall dedicated to Stonewall, then changed his mind and used this iconic photo from 1982, taken by J.D. Doyle.   Photo:  houstonlgbthistory.org
  • Digitized and printed as wallpaper, the photo takes it’s place in the Phoenix Room.   Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • And the finished result is an image that strikingly embodies the look and spirit of the times. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • A careful look at Doyle’s photo shows a building next to Mary’s.  This photo makes it even more visible. Photo:  houstonlgbthistory.org
  • De Lange also commissioned Swoveland to create six male images, five of which hang in the anteroom to the rest rooms. Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • De Lange also commissioned Swoveland to create six male images, five of which hang in the anteroom to the rest rooms. Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • De Lange also commissioned Swoveland to create six male images, five of which hang in the anteroom to the rest rooms. Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • A contributor plaque thanks all the people who helped make the Phoenix Room a reality. Photo:  Tanner Williams
  • The room is dedicated to the late Gene Landry, a popular member of the bear community, and mentor to many.    Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Gene Landry (right) with his partner Dustin Fasanella. Photo:  texasobituaryproject.org
  • De Lange inherited a trophy case with the 611, and kept it right where it was. Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The trophy case was originally chicken coops when the structure was a grocery store.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • An “OutSmart” Readers Choice Award in the trophy case.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • An award from the Misfits.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • A baseball tournament trophy.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • An award from Anita Mann to the Houston Area Bears.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • A regal promotional prop from Crown Royal.  De Lange says he’s thought of moving it, but it’s too popular with the customers.    Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange is in the process of creating a greeting card with Mary’s Mural on the front, which he will sell in the leather shop, and proceeds will go to Doyle’s website. Photo:  Brandon Wo ...
  • Interested in broadening his understand of Houston LGBT history, De Lange visited the University of Houston’s new collection in the fall of 2016.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Curator Vince Lee shows De Lange part of the LGBT rare books collection.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Lee shows De Lange the moveable stacks in the huge climate control area of the Special Collections in the M.D. Anderson Library.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • De Lange was so impressed with the UH collection, he has promised them the planning documents and renderings from the creation of the Phoenix Room.  Photo:  Mark De Lange
  • De Lange also plans to donate two 611 Club archival scrapbooks.  Unfortunately, another 38 scrapbooks were lost in the fire.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The Diana Foundation recognized De Lange’s contribution to the community with a special reception in the Phoenix Room shortly after it’s opening.   Graphic: Tanner Williams
  • The Diana Foundation is the nation’s oldest continually active gay organization.  Photo:  Tanner Williams
  • Diana Foundation president Tanner Williams welcomes guests to the reception.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • Williams presents De Lange with a special award for creating the Phoenix Room.  Photo:  Brandon Wolf
  • The Phoenix Room is open on weekends.  Arrangements can be made to use the room for private meetings and parties.   Photo:  Brandon Wolf

Brandon Wolf is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.

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