Civic Center Historic District
We did not have enough time to visit much of this district, but I want to tell what is in it so you'll know what to visit. I plan to return and visit these spots.
This district is a culmination of two movements of city reform during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: Physically improving the city and Politically reforming the city. Most of the buildings in this section were built "for public purpose. The following are places included in this historic district that I did see and photographed:
1. United States Post Office
5605 Sheridan Road
Neo Classical Revival
2. Old Kenosha High School [Reuther Central High School)
Takes up an entire block.
It was known as Central High School, then Mary D. Bradford High School, and is now Reuther Central High School.
3. Miniature Statue of Liberty
Civic Center Park
It was a gift to the city by local Boy Scout troops to mark Kenosha's 100th anniversary as an incorporated city.
4. Kenosha County Courthouse and Jail
National Register of Historic Places in 1982
Gray Indiana limestone in an ashlar pattern. Of all of these sites, I was most impressed with the Reuther High School. Perhaps that is because I was a teacher for over 30 years. Its size is quite imposing, taking up a city block. I just cannot imagine such an architectural marvel being built in this day and age. It would cost so much in today's economy.
There are two beautiful lighthouses in Kenosha that I loved seeing.
The first one that I saw is called Pierhead Lighhouse, and it is located at Simmons Island Public Beach and Lake Michigan. This lighthouse was built in 1906. It's a "typical LAKE MICHIGAN RED TOWER", this red conical steel lighthouse is 50 feet tall and is constructed of riveted steel plates. It has helical bars on the lantern panels. It was originally equipped with a "Fourth Order Fresnel lens", but it now has a rotating plastic airport beacon.
Its location on the end of the south breakwater at the entrance to the Pike River requires that you cross the bridge to Simmons Island on 50th Street and follow the road down to the beach. Visitors can walk out on the pier from the beach at Simmons Island, but you cannot go inside.
It's officially known as Kenosha's North Pierhead Lighthouse, but it is affectionately called "BIG RED". I read where it takes between $1,500 to $3,000 a year to keep Big Red in good condition. The Second Lighthouse is called SOUTHPORT LIGHT STATION. Kenosha was formerly called Southport. It is located on Simmons Island Park off 50th Street and Lighthouse Drive [4th Avenue]. This lighthouse was first built in 1848 as a gray brick tower, but it was totally re-built in 1866, and it is 55 feet tall.
There has been an extensive restoration of this Light Station and Lighthouse Keeper's Dwelling Museum that opens this summer . It will tell the story of Kenosha's harbor. Stories of Kenosha's Lighthouse Keepers will also be exhibited in the Museum with first-hand accounts of men and women who kept the lighthouse lamps burning.
Southport is made of Cream City brick brought from Milwaukee. The Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage was built in 1848. By 1913, Southport Ligh6house was dark. During the 1950s, the federal government had plans to demolish it, but Kenosha citizens united and saved this historic structure. So the city of Kenosha owned it, and in 1994, it was reopened. It no longer services the US Coast Guard for Kenosha, it still shines in the harbor.
Now, after restoration, it looks great and its Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage is open, and its rooms are being used to display Kenosha's maritime history. The structures are on the National Register as an historic site.
Harbor Park I
After seeing the Harbor Park, I wanted to know how this excellent redevelopment came about. After checking several websites, this is what I discovered>
The history of this area started from 1870 to 1960, this huge area operated as the Simmons Mattress Manufacturing Plant Then in 1960, American Motors Corporation (AMC) started to manufacture cares here until 1988. Some of the area was also used for a power plant, a coal yard, and a dock. Oh, yes, there was about 25 acres next to it that was used, of all things, "to dispose of contaminated sediment for 15 years!" Shortly thereafter, the manufacturing plant was demolished. An investigation and cleanup of the area was done, and then the property was sold to the city of Kenosha .
The city pumped off groundwater and added a layer of soil and pavement. Then the concept of Harbor Park started to become a reality.
The area is a mixture of residential and recreational opportunities. Both residents and visitors seem to really like and use it. It gives both about a quarter of a mile of a lakefront promenade which include courtyards, fountains, public seating areas, an electric street car system, commercial properties, a farmers market, Museums, access to Lake Michigan, and, more importantly, it got rid of an "eyesore" and an environmental problem.
then wondered how in the world were they able to finance such a massive project???
There was funding from the city; 2-3 million dollars in state and federal funds; and the city received three "Certificates of Completion [COC] from the DNR, and three more COC's are pending. That's quite an achievement.
As I was walking around admiring this area, I noticed lots of wonderful details such as:
1. A three-tier system for baths. Photo is for fishermen. The other two are for pedestrians and bikes/blades.
2. A unique playground for children. I noticed it used an ancient ruins theme.
3. Lighting is always important, and it was quite evident that the planners provided more than enough lighting for safety and for ambience.
4. Great Water Features
5. Culture...a use of sculpture.
The city is also famous for its English Fair that is held in late June – late August.
It’s a 16th century fair with costumed lords and ladies, jousting, food and fun:
Bristol Renaissance Fair
12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, 53142.
Equinox-The Body & Soul Boutique
The small boutique offers limited spa treatements as well as information to help you live more fuffling life!
I had a wonderful exerperince with the company. My massage was wonderful, it really helped my back pain and prepare my skin for 34 hours of air travel.
This is there Address in Kenosha,
5901 6th Ave # A
Kenosha, WI 53140