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Kathy Osterman Hollywood Gay Beach House Grand Opening

Kathy Osterman Beach
is the official name of the lovely crescent of sand known to most Chicago residents as Hollywood-Ardmore Beach. Others call it the Hollywood Beach, or some call it the Gay Beach. Located off Lake Shore Drive, between Bryn Mawr and Hollywood.

The beautiful beach is nestled amongst high-rise buildings and sunsets there are nice as the sun drops behind the tall buildings. The southern end is a  very popular spot for gays, but  the beach overall remains a family beach. Parents and kids come here to swim, (when the water is warm enough!)  and also to enjoy volleyball and frisbee. But don’t take balls in the water – that’s a no-no, for some reason. On any given weekend you will find a few hundred LGBT people here at  the southern end.

Just hours ago was the official grand opening of the new beach house / comfort station. A One-story, 2570 square feet, fully accessible facility providing  a Concession Area, called  PICNIC, Family Restroom, Men’s  and Women’s Restroom and a Life Guard Lockerroom. Plus outdoor rinse-off shower heads and more bike racks. The new building is filled with environmental sustainability features like rainwater harvesting, skylights and solar powered trash compacters!

Mayor Daley spoke at the ceremony and gave praise to Kathy Osterman as being a true visionary and he applauded her achievements including being at the forefront of the progress of human rights and LGBT issues.

The PICNIC concession is an off-shoot of The Waterfront Cafe , located just up the street at Berger Park.  They are providing a much smaller menu here, but have a very nice seating area patio and will be offering beer and wine soon. Fresh made sandwiches ($7-8) and things like guacamole and hummus ($5-6) plus lots of assorted cold drinks are available.

 Kathy Osterman   was a known as a “Friend of the Community”, 48th Ward alderman, city special events director, and longtime political activist, she helped to forge critical links between Chicago government and the lesbian and gay community. She played a crucial role in passage of the city’s human rights ordinance.

An ebullient, optimistic, dynamic individual, Osterman was a fierce and outspoken lobbyist for the passage of Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance. She worked closely with gay and lesbian activists, helping formulate logistics. She personally introduced many of the key players to each other, and is also credited for developing the imaginative “bring in the nuns” strategy, calling on women of the cloth to lobby the large Roman Catholic bloc of aldermen within the City Council. The Human Rights Ordinance was passed in 1988, and Osterman considered this to be one of her greatest accomplishments in public life.

On May 1, 1992, Osterman was married to Bruce DuMont, founder and President of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and host of the nationally syndicated radio program “Inside Politics.” She was the mother of two sons, Harry Joe and Matthew, who live and work in Chicago. Kathy Osterman died that same year of cancer on December 8, 1992.

Though the beach officially closes Labor Day, you will find people out thru the early fall if the weather is nice. But there are no lifeguards on duty after Labor Day – but I am told the PICNIC concession will remain open thru October 1st.

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