ADAPTIVE REUSE OF A WPA-ERA RESOURCE
It is the 2,150 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline and stunning beach that brings park users from all over Milwaukee County. A bathhouse and jetties were constructed as part of a WPA project in 1939-1940. Milwaukee County Parks supported a lifeguard program for many years.
The building was abandoned as a bathhouse approximately 17 years ago. There no longer is water or electrical service to the structure and it has been kept boarded up year-round. The goal of the project will be an open-air beach shelter/pavilion constructed within the footprint and using the structural support features of the decommissioned WPA-era bathhouse.
In addition to use by regular park visitors, we envision that the structure will be available as an outdoor classroom for educational programming related to the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes. Organizations that have expressed an interest in using the open-air pavilion and support the renovation include the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, which shares the northwest border of Doctors Park.
Many who use Doctors Park walk down past the beach house to the open beach on a regular basis. Redesigning the structure to repurpose it into an open pavilion will offer a place to bring lunch and enjoy the view of Lake Michigan short of walking the beach. As an outdoor classroom, the beach house could be used for environmental education classes coordinated with beach cleanup workshops. Others may find it the perfect place to set up an easel for painting. We have been asked about the possibility to include secured kayak and paddleboard storage as found in northern Illinois parks along the lakeshore. This could be a small revenue source for Parks. Our goal is to enhance the experience of visiting what is one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Milwaukee County.
WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN DO THIS.
We want to begin fundraising very soon and bring the beach house back to life. Do you want to help? Please sign up to receive more information.