Doctors Park Bathhouse - Structural Detail of Front Porch
The Doctors Park Bathhouse in Bayside, Wisconsin, a northern suburb of Milwaukee, is adjacent to Tietjen Beach on Lake Michigan and within 75 feet of the shoreline. This former bathhouse was constructed as a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project in 1939-1940, part of a far broader county-wide park improvement program undertaken by the New Deal agency. While the park straddles Bayside and Fox Point, the bathhouse is located north of the border, in Bayside. For many decades the bathhouse provided a place to change into a swimsuit and shower off sand before heading for home. the building housed lifeguards to those swimming in Lake Michigan, lifeguards also sold concessions from the front window. In the late 1990’s the Milwaukee County Parks ended the lifeguard program at Doctors Park and the bathhouse now sits unused.
Doctors Park Friends is interested in renovating the structure into an open air pavilion. A structural engineer determined the building is sound and an architect designed a pavilion maintaining the WPA structure and characteristics. The friends group is raising funds for the renovation.
UWM: “The most visible legacy of WPA projects in Milwaukee County was the parks system, which had more construction and landscaping during the WPA period than any other time in its history. WPA construction included six swimming pools, pavilions at Red Arrow and Brown Deer Parks, service buildings at Jacobus, Jackson and Whitnall Parks, the Botanical Garden administration building and golf club house at Whitnall Park, a bathhouse at Doctor’s Park, a recreation center at Smith Park, new roads in nearly every park, and parkways throughout the county.”
910 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53203-1591
Project originally submitted by Neil Gollhardt on June 21, 2022.
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