Trying To Save Memories Of Mary's

Categories: Spaced City
marys110309n.jpg
Photo courtesy "Mary's, Naturally" Closed
Mary's, the bar that many people think of as the gay bar in Houston history, is no more, a victim of unpaid rent.

But there's a scramble going on to try to keep as much of the place as possible, as a way to preserve a cornerstone of Houston's gay past.

A Facebook page has been set up to encourage ways to get artifacts from the 40-year-old place.

"The old sign with Ronald Reagan smoking that hung in the bathroom?" writes one commenter. "The old 'Mary's' sign that hung outside the building on the patio? What about any of the artifacts stored in the back building? Or some of the items from the back patio, like the motorcycle and statue?"

Tim Brookover, an activist in the gay community, is urging the GLBT Community Center board to get active in saving whatever can be saved.

"Mary's contains a number of objects and artifacts that are significant to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender heritage," he says. "Our ad hoc Mary's heritage group, spearheaded by the GLBT Community Center, is seeking to get access to Mary's and, we hope, permission to remove at least some of the items. At the very least, we hope to document what is left with photography."

If those walls could speak....



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15 comments
lilbit5002
lilbit5002

Does anyone remember a man named Terry Smith? He was a bartender at Marys and eventually became co-owner with Gaye Yancey. He died of AIDS on November 10 1992. My name is Sonya and he was my uncle. I never had the chance to meet him and that sucks. Now I am trying to find anyone with pictures or stories or anything to help me get to know him. my email address is lilbit5002@gmail.com. Thank you .

Tim watson
Tim watson

Way too many dead people in the back for another business to take over. The back yard needs to be preserved as a reminder of the AIDS crisis. RIP in peace to all those buried there.

LBRAUNHAUS
LBRAUNHAUS

Just came across this article- so sad to hear it. I had my 21st birthday party on the back patio! All the great spots are gone now, Numbers, Ceasar's Palace, Midnight Sun, Baba Yega, Baja Sam's...now it's all white, yuppies and everything else we hate!

R.I.P. MARY'S.

tgd1947
tgd1947

Wonder if Fanny ever thought it would have lasted this long.

tgd1947
tgd1947

GIVE ME A MGIVE ME A AGIVE ME A RGIVE ME A YGIVE ME A S

WHAT'S THE SMELL, MARY'S

Geez, Art Wren's I forgot about that place. first time another man touched my leg. I got sick to my stomach. LOL

tgd1947
tgd1947

Give me an MGive me an AGive me an RGive me an YGive me an S

what's that smell MARY'S

Anonymous
Anonymous

One moment in past times that my mind re-plays is the very first PRIDE parade on Westheimer back in the early 70's. It consisted of eight men in shorts with wide hats going down the middle of Westheimer on roller skates, abit wobbly.

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion

To you, perhaps, Anon, but, it's apparent there are many good memories, for others, and I'll bet the sheer volume of good memories would outnumber any bad memories.

Anonymous
Anonymous

too bad Mary's didn't go the same time that Art Wren's did a long time ago. Now it would be just a distant and faint bad memory.

kate
kate

we need to save our neighborhood. its falling by the wayside to corporations and rich young brats. something needs to be done to preserve our history before we turn into washington avenue.

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

Anyone would have seen that Montrose is now Midtown West after seeing the crowds during Halloween night. That does suck about the bar. I want that Swayze picture by the bar.

sludger
sludger

so sad, just another sign that Montrose (as many of us have known it) is slowly transforming. i'll start referring to the neighborhood as "Midtown West" from now on.i moved to Houston in 1977, Mary's was the first gay bar some friends shared with me. it was like going into a carnival spook house...scarey but exciting as hell! it was THE gathering spot on sunday afternoons, especially during the Westheimer Art Festivals, holidays and post Mardi Gras events. i took a lot of photos that are on that bar-top. young ones today have no idea how much energy (and other things) went on in that bar and back in the hay-day's of Houston's boom town era. politicians, celebrities and neighborhood patrons all dropped in.but like everything else in Montrose, all good and fun things come to an end.R.I.P.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Are the prospective owners aware that the back greenspace is the resting place of hundreds of our dead brothers and sisters? Who would want to build over this ? Not me.

Scott Bodenheimer
Scott Bodenheimer

Several people and pets have memorials in the back patio there, what will happen to them?

Tasteslikechicken
Tasteslikechicken

@Tim watson .

Tim, do you know if anything has been done to preserve the ashes out back? I contacted OUTSMART but never received a return email or phone call.  Has anyone done anything to re-interr the ashes before the new owners take over?  Thanks,

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