The West Hollywood City Council authorized spending $385,000 for construction of an elevator in the Werle Building at 626 Robertson Blvd., adjacent to West Hollywood Park, during its Monday night meeting.
The 7,533-square-foot Werle Building serves as home to the West Hollywood Recovery Center, the June Mazer Lesbian Archives and a gallery space for the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. While the ground floor is wheel-chair accessible, the second floor, which houses the Mazer, is only accessible by a narrow staircase.
The elevator will be built at the rear of the building in what is currently storage space for the ONE Archive gallery. The elevator will have three stops – street level, first floor (four feet above street level) and second floor.
At the same time, the council authorized converting unused office space on the second floor into a gathering space for lesbian-specific events.
During public comment, six representatives from the Mazer archive thanked the council for the elevator and for creating the space for lesbians.
“The gay men of West Hollywood are deeply indebted to you for what you did in the AIDS crisis in the early years when the lesbian community stepped forward and cared for your brothers who you had virtually no relationship with at the time and you really were fantastic,” said Councilmember John Duran. “We are deeply grateful for that and if providing a meeting room for lesbian space is part of paying it back, paying it forward, then we’re happy to do so.”