Public officials, civic leaders and local residents were among those attending the dedication of a beach house in memory of the late alderman Kathy Osterman. The event took place Aug. 27 at 5701 N. Lake Shore, on Osterman Beach ( formerly Hollywood Beach ) .
Chicago Park District CEO and General Superintendent Tim Mitchell presided over the ceremony, which featured remarks from state Rep. Harry Osterman ( Kathy's son ) , 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith, Mayor Richard Daley and lifeguard Sonia Lugo.
Smith lauded Daley for what she said are consistent improvements to the city's parks and added, "There are miracles all around us, including the dragonflies that are here today." She called Kathy Osterman "a visionary, who worked so hard for our neighborhood."
Daley said that Osterman was a "family friend and a wonderful public servant. She came here with great commitment ... and she had a love of people." Speaking of her term as the director of the mayor's special events ( a post Daley appointed Osterman to after she retired from her aldermanic seat in 1989 ) , he added, "She was the best. She overpowered everyone with ideas." He also said that "she loved her family, friends and this wonderful beach."
State Rep. Osterman said, "I know that my mother is looking down with a big smile today as she sees all of her friends for many, many years. ... She was all about bringing people together." He also said, "She gave me some karma today when I tore my suit coat getting out of the car, [ as if to say ] I shouldn't be wearing a suit to the beach"generating a lot of laughter from the crowd.
Osterman thanked Daley and Smith for making "a huge difference in our community." He then talked about the transformations of the neighborhood, schools and parks before making this remark: "This beach is a special place. ... It's a place where people come and feel welcome, whether it's our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors who call this beach their own; whether it's the neighbors who live along Sheridan Road who call this their private backyard; whether it's families who lug all their stuff down to the beach and share precious memories and moments with their children; or whether it's new immigrants and refugees to our city who haven't seen the lake ... there is a togetherness that mirrors our community, that mirrors the city of Chicago. All of us are one, and we celebrate that diversity. That was something my mother embodied."
The beach house occupies 2,750 square feet; has men's, women's and family restrooms; a lifeguard office; a concession space; bicycle racks; and two security cameras. The facility also sports environmental sustainability features, such as a rainwater harvesting system, natural ventilation and tubular skylights.
Kathy Osterman would have been 67 on July 22.