The foreshore of the Bath House, with its wide expanse of green lawn, may no longer be crowded with swimmers but it is still a great place to have a picnic, read a book, watch the clouds, walk your dog, or just relax and watch the sun set over downtown Dallas, seen here in the distance.
The bathing beach diving platform, along with light poles that used to provide illumination for night time swimming, are still in place, although swimming in the lake has been forbidden since 1953.
In 2001 a "Water Theater" was placed between the Bath House foreshore and the old diving platform. Created by Frances Bagley and Tom Orr (with technical assistance from James T. Bagley) as part of the City of Dallas' public art program, it consists of a semi-circle of posts of varying heights and widths, which the numerous species of birds at the lake find a satisfying place to perch. A plaque attached to one of the larger posts on shore explains:
"The White Rock Lake Water Theater is an environmental work that combines nature with education and art. It is meant to provide a formal area where the water wildlife of White Rock Lake can perform their daily rituals while allowing humans to witness their habits, beauty, and grace."
"This site at the Bath House has held a particular attraction for birds and turtles, as well as people, ever since it was a popular public swimming facility (1930-1953). The diving platform and the poles in the distance are remnants from those days. The beauty of the birds perched on those poles day after day was the inspiration for the Water Theater."
"The Water Theater poles and floating disks are arranged in an abstracted cattail and lily pad design to create an arc that travels in the water to and from the shore. The columns and seats on the land are arranged for you to relax and learn more about the water wildlife that can be seen here. At night, certain poles in the water light up with a soft glow similar to the light of a firefly. This is powered by energy from the sun, which is collected by the solar panels on the diving platform.
"The Water Theater constantly changes with the light, weather, seasons, and wildlife. The White Rock Lake Water Theater reclaims the old swimming site as a place of interest and hopes to direct appreciation the layers of life that share our city."
Wildlife can also be observed through the free binoculars now located on the bath house verandah. Below are some views taken through the binoculars, one showing a bird perched on a Water Theater post and the other a sailboat and view of downtown Dallas, some six miles distant. Metal plaques attached to concrete posts on shore identify some of the birds and other creatures you may view here.