Hollywood Gay Beach Chicago Gets Long Overdue Makeover – New Toilets, Showers and Concession

It’s been talked about for over 2 years now – now it’s  a  reality for 2010! 

Hollywood / Osterman (gay) Beach in Chicago gets a long overdue  makeover. 

Late last summer, the Chicago Planning Commission  approved plans for a new beach house and landscaping at Osterman Beach. The new facility will open by Memorial Day, and will include showers and changing areas for lifeguards.(?)

What does this mean?  Who knows.  Ground has been  broken and we have placed a call to the Planning Commission and have not got an answer back yet.

We were told last year,  the new building would  include  new  toilets.   A  concession  stand.  And  a lockerroom and showere  area  for the lifeguards.

Foster Beach and Montrose Beach got  nice makeovers  over the last couple years. It is unclear yet, how the Osterman project will compare.  This  image  was  online at PBC Chicago.  They are calling it  a  comfort station. You will notice, there are no gays  in the  rendering!

In 2009, we saw  A LOT more straight people and families  coming to the  “gay beach”.  What else is new? The straights always come to where the gay are. 

We also saw an increase of police activity last year. The Hollywood / Osterman beach sometimes enforces  rules – and sometimes  does not.  It is unclear what the rules are exactly.  

We have looked  high  and  low, from  Bryn Mawr  to Hollywood, and we have seen no rules or restriction signs, of any kind.  We  had heard, there was NO SMOKING, NO PETS,  and  NO BOTTLES/GLASS/ALCOHOL, and that MOST  TOYS  are  NOT  ALLOWED  on the beach itself.    However, when I called  the Alderman Mary Ann Smith’s office, even they were not totally sure about pets. Only  no smoking and no glass bottles / alcohol.  And the lifeguards will clearly tell you  NO  BALLS  IN THE  WATER!! They directed my questions to the Chicago Park Districts, and as of this publishing, no one has returned my calls yet.

So we will see what 2010  brings.  I think with this new building, will come  with new rules  and regulations and/or more enforcement.  In the past, lifeguards (and Police)  would usually  turn  their  head to smokers and drinkers.  However in 2009, there were an increase in the number of tickets at the beach. – It will be nice to have new, clean toilets and a concession area!

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