West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John Duran, and West Hollywood council member John D’Amico, both took to Facebook yesterday to announce the near completion of the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) at the Werle Building on Robertson Boulevard, located across the street from the Log Cabin Lions Club, which is home to several Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
“WEHOANS. Many years ago I was walking down Robertson looking for new space for 12 step meetings when I discovered the Werle Building across from the Log Cabin,” Duran posted on his Facebook timeline. “I asked the City Manager who owned it and was surprised to learn the City did and we were using the building for storage. I asked to use it for temporary meeting space. Well that swelled to 8k – 9K visitors per month.”
The building was originally slated for demolition as part of the West Hollywood Park
Phase II construction. Duran–with the help of several activists and members form the recovering community–argued to preserve it and make the space a permanent home for the West Hollywood Recovery Center.
“We are just weeks away from the grand opening,” he added. “Thank you to those who made this dream of mine a reality. Will keep you posted about the grand opening. Thanks especially to my colleague John D’Amico for giving me the critical vote to save it. And thanks to all those in the recovery community who helped me push to make it happen. Vince Roncone, Ryan Knight, David Vandervelde, Jim Crane, Gregory Howell, Joe McDonald, Jimmy Palmieri, Robert Gamboa, Carlos Martinez”
Aside from being responsible for the creation of the WHRC, Duran also championed for significant increases in the city budget to address alcoholism and drug addiction in the community. He helped establish and fund sober events like SIZZLE and BOOM, which are alcohol and drug-free zones at gay pride weekend and New Year’s Eve. And he’s hosted a series of town hall meetings on the dangers of crystal meth.
Council Member John D’Amico also posted photos of himself and WeHo council member Lindsey Horvath inside the WHRC still under construction on his Facebook timeline.
“Lindsey Horvath and I got a chance to preview the almost finished Werle Building on Robertson,” he wrote. “Two big rooms for the West Hollywood Recovery Center and of course, The June Mazer Lesbian Archives and the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives will be moving back in. Thanks to the residents of West Hollywood we got to save this incredible resource from the wrecking ball. And now it will serve many more generations of residents and visitors and archivists and art lovers…and so much more. More to come.”
“The West Hollywood Recovery Center has provided hope and sobriety to thousands of our West Hollywood residents,” founder of The Tweakers Project and West Hollywood human services commissioner, Jimmy Palmieri, told WEHO TIMES. “I am so grateful to be able to say that I was involved in the fight to save The Werle Building. It’s a Weho jewel.”
The Werle Building, located on 626 N. Robertson Blvd has historical significance. It is a 1940s two-story Streamline Moderne building built by architect Berkeley Brandt, Jr.
Renovations include an elevator at the back of the building in an area that was mostly used for starage space for the ONE Archive gallery. The elevator will have three stops that include the street level, first floor which is four feet above street level and a second floor. The second floor of the building, which was mostly unused office space, will be used as a gathering area for lesbian-specific events.
The WHRC was slated for completion in mid 2017. As they say in the rooms of recovery, “more will be revealed.”
To learn more about the West Hollywood Recovery Center, visit: thewhrc.org