Shaped like a ship, this pavilion seems ideally suited to its location on a popular swimming beach. The city built the bathhouse to provide restroom, changing, and bathing facilities, and the architects decked out the two-story brick and concrete structure with maritime motifs. The upper story opens onto a ship-like promenade deck. The enclosed lower story resembles a ship’s hull, perforated only by doors and glass-block ribbon windows. A curving prow forms the front of the pavilion, and a flagpole rises like a mast. A long, rail-enclosed sundeck trails off to the stern, its twisting staircase descending to the beach. Before the 1920s this site lay beneath Lake Michigan. In the late 1920s, city crews began to fill the Milwaukee lakeshore for Lincoln Memorial Drive. The outer part became Bradford Beach and Milwaukee’s other sandy beaches.
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Bradford Beach Bathhouse
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