Saturday, October 1, 2011

Library Square

One of my favorite spots in Kenosha is Library Square.  Not only because it is surrounded by beautiful buildings but so many of them were a part of my life.

One of my favorite places to visit as a child was the Children's Library.  Kenosha had a separate children's library that was housed in an old church.  The old church is once again a church and the children's library is in the basement of the main Simmons library but here is the building.  It was a pretty library.

 The next building along Library Square is Armitage Academy.  My dad was on the original board that founded the school after Kemper Hall closed down.  Unfortunately the school closed down in April after 35 years.

 During high school I worked as the secretary to the rabbi here at Temple Beth Hillel.
 The beautiful Simmons Library is in the middle of Library Square.  I spent a lot of time at Library Square during high school.  We had an open lunch hour and I would often walk around the square during my lunch (usually with my boyfriend Bill!!)  Sometimes I even went into the library and studied.

 I had forgotten what a beautiful building it was.

 The view from the front steps of the library out into the square.
 The beautiful church across the street.

The beautiful KYF building across the street where I took my first yoga class was totally empty and deserted and was in bad shape.

The other building I love that lines the square is now a funeral home but at one time it was a private residence that was part of the underground railroad.  (I learned that in my 3rd grade when we studied the history of Kenosha!)

Kenosha Good Eats

Of course part of our trip to Kenosha had to be about the food.  We had a list of places we needed to eat while we were there.

The top of the list was Villa D'Carlo right on the waterfront.  Lucky for us I booked a hotel room at the Best Western right on the marina so we were conveniently located directly across the street from Villa D'Carlo.
After we checked in we headed across the street.  As soon as we crossed the street we both said - it still smells the same!!

The restaurant looked the same too.  We ordered our usual  - half cheese/ half cheese and sausage.  The best part?  It tasted the same too!!!  We almost ate the whole thing between the two of us!!

Saturday morning we got up early and headed over to Frank's Diner.  Actually, neither one of us had ever eaten here while we lived in Kenosha even though it was there the whole time.  I guess kids just didn't eat at Frank's when we were growing up???  Both of us had seen it on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives so wanted to check it out for sure. Frank's Diner was brought into town in 1926 pulled by six horses. 
Our booth was right next to a very friendly man that had grown up in Kenosha so we had fun talking to him and about people and places we knew.

We both went for the Garbage Plate - only a half order though.  I think I ate about 1/6 of mine!  It was delicious.

I loved this place!  Why have I never eaten there before???

 We were a little windblown and wet from being attacked by one of those waves down on the pier that morning!

Hopefully we obeyed the rules!
What would breakfast be without the Kenosha News.  We were sad to hear that the owner of the paper - Howard Brown had passed away this April at the age of 92!
For lunch we headed over to The Spot.  The Red Star drivein was closed for the season.  We use to go there on our lunch break from school for 25 cent hamburgers but I always liked The Spot better!
Their rootbeer is wonderful.  I had to get a root beer Whirl though - so good!  And of course a burger and fries.

The food tasted the same, just the prices were higher!

I also had some custard and kringle.  The complete Kenosha experience!

Mary D. Bradford High School

I graduated from high school in 1978 from Mary D. Bradford High School.  The day after I graduated I left Kenosha.  My parents had moved to California via Ohio at the beginning of my senior year so I was moving out west with them and then heading to BYU.  I have only been back to Kenosha since then 2 or 3 times.

Our high school was in downtown Kenosha.  A beautiful old building.  I didn't appreciate it for the amazingly beautiful place it was when I went to school there.  To a teenager it was just a school.  Now, it is a beautiful old building.  It is no longer Mary D. Bradford. A new Bradford was built and this building became an alternative high school.

LuAnne and I stopped by hoping they would let us wonder the halls.  They graciously let us do that and they even had one of the staff members come give us a tour.  It ended up that he also graduated in the class of 1978 and we had several friends in common including Mark Hoferitza and Bill Glaser (my high school boy friend)  He took us to some places we normally wouldn't have been able to go which was great such as the pool, the auditorium and the tunnel under the school that use to go to the old annex.  We had so much fun!!!

Here she is....

The thing I couldn't believe was how incredibly clean this school was for a high school!  The halls were spotless.

 Alumni Class of 1978.

The school looked pretty much the same as it did over 30 years ago when we were there.

I am sure I had never noticed the beautiful light fixtures when I was a student there.

And I had forgotten about the beautiful stain glass in the ceiling over the main stairwell.
And how incredible the old bathrooms were with their tile floors.  The bathrooms were spotless too!

And then we went into the auditorium.  I had forgotten how beautiful it was!

From there we went down into the basement below the stage.  There is a room there where students have signed their names over the many years.  Somehow we had never done it while students there so we did it now!

Fortunately I had a Sharpie in my purse.  I had a hard time remembering my name and signed it as my married name so had to go back and write in Best.  I also wrote the wrong date, forgetting the year we graduated.  Guess it was too long ago so my date is rather messy and I'm not sure what that S is at the end!!

Then we went into the tunnel.  The tunnel use to connect the main building to the annex.  The annex was another building with classrooms but soon after we graduated it was condemned and torn down.  The tunnel is still there and we walked through it.  It comes out into a small utility shed now in the parking lot.

We were allowed to use the tunnel on really cold, snowy days.

We also got to see the pool.  I use to hate PE when I had swimming.  I had it the first hour of the day and I'd have to go around with bad hair all day!!
We had such a fun time exploring the old high school!  She is a beauty!