Kenosha’s History on the Beach

Kenosha has some interesting sights that make it Kenosha to me. So many towns are beginning to look one like another – big box stores, national supermarkets, restaurant chains, and fast food places. I like to try to find what makes a place, THAT place. For me one of the things about Kenosha that stood out are the unique buildings. I’ve toyed with the idea of going out to make pictures of various unique buildings in Kenosha to share with friends on-line. Yesterday was my first day.

It was sunny and I was longing to do some photography. I decided to take Rappy down to the beach and make some pictures. She wasn’t so sure of the plan at first.

Worried aging greyhound settles into back seat

Is this a trick? Are we going to the vet?

We used to have a small SUV. She liked riding in the back of that but now we have a grandpa sedan (I don’t like sedans). She doesn’t like riding on a seat with a big ledge that falls to the floor. She liked the big platform in the back of the SUV where she could lounge & look out. Here once we start moving she lays down and can’t see out but is terrified to sit up. Any way she’s suspecting a vet visit… even gives me that questioning stare as I go around to get in.

Aging looks out car rear window

Are you SURE we aren’t going to the vet?

We tool off down the road with no particular place in mind except to pick up my prescription through the drive thru (damn sedan spoils that fun as she hunkers down hugging the back of the seat). Once that’s done I head off down 75th toward the lake.

What lake? Why Lake Michigan of course. We lived just a few miles off of the lake. I wind up at the Southport Public Beach House. Now I know very little about this building but I’ve always liked the looks of it. It seems perched on the edge of decay just a hair past shabby chic yet it has magnificent bones. I have walked around it many times fantasizing about what it looked like in its glory days.

Happy aging greyhound looks over her shoulder while standing on back seat

Hey, you didn’t lie! This isn’t the vet’s office!

Rappy was pleasantly surprised we weren’t at the vet’s office. She hopped out and we enjoyed a very brief walk in the park next to the beach house. It has a stunning view of the lake. The walk was brief because she’d already had a walk that day and I wanted to do one around the beach house. She’s not a spring chicken as you see (she’s an old greyhound) and can’t do walks like she used to do. Still she loved it and I took a few nice shots of the park and lake. Enjoy!

View of lake with greening grass and two layers of blue in the water
View of path by lake in park
puffy clouds in sky over lake that is two blues and green grass shore

Then we took off for my photo expedition around the Southport Public Beach House.

West approach to beach house

Kenosha’s Southport Public Beach House

It looks a little worse for wear from the last time I circled it. I have to admit though circling it with a camera gives one a more observant eye looking for decent shots. Since I knew I was going to do a post with some of the photos I thought I should do a bit of research about the building. The first thing I learned was you can rent it for functions. Next it is on the National Registry of Historic Places. I’ll summarize a few points for you. It was built 1936-1940 just like the plaque says. It was built as part of the WPA program. The architect was Christian Borggren. It was built from material scavenged from condemned buildings and the post office that was torn town. It has a ballroom inside in addition to the usual beach house showers and snack bar. I’m not sure when it was shuddered off like now. The roof has a large tarp on it. I’m not sure what damage it conceals and what that has done to the interior of the place. There is very little malicious damage such as graffiti and broken windows. This might be because there is video surveillance of the exterior. I’m not sure whose watching the paint peel there but there are signs and camera up around the structure. Most of the images show the need for a good sweeping and paint. Excluding the needed roof repair. Now I’ll stop blabbling and give you some of the pictures. There are more on my Flickr page. You can get there by clicking on any image then moving about my photostream.

West side of beach house

Historic Preservation Society plaque

Full view of west side of beach house

South Side of beach house

surveillance camera aiming south from back of beach house

View of beach from ground floor of beach house

Tiered elongated windows as if on stair case

View of main floor patio area

side of beach house that faces the lake

East side of beach house with blue tarp covering roof damage

Again if you were intrigued and want to see more head over to my Flickr account. There are some detail shots and views of the beach too. In the end Rappy and I had a good time our first day out doing photos of interesting buildings in Kenosha.

Happy panting greyhound looks out car window

That was fun!

As always I’d love to hear from you. If you like give me a like or stars or share with others or do all three! It helps keep me going and doing these sorts of things.

Until next time!

7 thoughts on “Kenosha’s History on the Beach

  1. Pingback: Local Landmarks Vary « Mary Louise Eklund

  2. You are more than welcome I sure did enjoy doing it. The building has intrigued me since I moved here. There is also one of that era on Simmons Island here in Kenosha. I plan to do it one day. And thank you for stopping by to visit, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • Thanks so much. Rappy is a sweet timid girl. Her official name is Arapahoe’s Ace that’s what she has on her birth certificate and how she appeared in the racing sheets before we got here. She’s now been with us for 7 years.

    • Thanks! I sure did enjoy your post on your trip to Pompeii.

      Yes I live the bones of the beach house but I do wonder what damage has been done by the hole in the roof.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stop by again sometime!

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