Babcock Ranch

The Babcock Ranch occupies land in both Charlotte and Lee Counties near Fort Myers. It was named after Edward Vose Babcock–a lumber baron and mayor of Pittsburgh. He purchased the land in 1914. The land was used for logging and agriculture.

In 2006, the Babcock Ranch Preserve Act made this area the first Florida Preserve for generating its own funding under a public private management partnership.

Entrance into Babcock Ranch

Entrance to Babcock Ranch

Sunset Ranch Babcock Ranch

Trail Start Babcock Ranch

Trail Start

Same as above

North Shore Park

Northshore Park is located at 13001 N. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. It provides a scenic view of the Caloosahatchee River. Lee County Parks and Recreation assumed responsibility for Northshore Park from the state on 8/1987.

Pier was added in 2000. It was financed with a 3 cent bed tax.

The park was the temporary home of the Fort Myers Sailboat Club.

Park features a dog walk, fishing, hiking trails paddle craft launching, 3 covered picnic shelters, free parking.

Northshore Park

Pier Northshore Park

Pier Northshore Park

Northshore Park

Northshore Park

Northshore Park

Northshore Park

Northshore Park

Northshore Park Parking

Northshore Park Parking

Northshore Park Picnic Shelters

Trail Northshore Park

Same as above

Trail Northshore Park

Same as above

Trail Northshore Park

Same as above

Trail Northshore Park

Trail Northshore Park

Unity Church/Chicago Town and Tennis Club

This building is located at 1325 West Thome Avenue West Ridge, Chicago. It was originally built in the 1920’s as the Chicago Town and Tennis Club. The Architects were George Maher an his son Philip.

The building is Tudor Revival Style. It features half timber structure with slate roof, and decorative brick work. The interior features stained glass decorative tile and ornamental plaster work and grand ballrooms.

Chicago Town and Tennis Club

Interior Stairway

Chicago Town and Tennis Club

The building was inspired by other tennis clubs such as Wimbledon and the West Side Tennis Club are Forest Hills.

Emblem Chicago Town and Tennis Club

Entrance Chicago Town and Tennis Club

The building functioned as a club house overlooking 16 tennis courts. There were also elaborate extensive gardens on the 3.1 acre site.

Garden Chicago Town and Tennis Club

This building functioned as a club house until the 1960’s. Later it was used by fraternal and social Clubs the Elks. For years, the building sat empty.

In 1989, the Unity Church purchased the building and 3.1 acre property. The church engaged Vinci Hamp architects to restore portions of the building in 2002. The dining room was converted into a sanctuary; other rooms were converted into an art gallery and a social hall.

The Unity Church had an important role in the LGBTQ community. At one time the congregation numbered 1,500 members. However over the years, the numbers dwindled.

In 2019, the building and grounds were purchased by nearby Misericordia for 7.5 million dollars.

The campaign to save the Unity Church/Chicago Town and Tennis Club has ended with Misericordia tearing down a historic structure in West Ridge.