Posted by Steve Lettau on Mar 26, 2020

This story originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.

By: Dianna Schoberg

Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan — the fifth-largest lake in the world, with a surface area about twice that of Belgium —Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is known among surfers as the “Malibu of the Midwest.” As home to generations of German Americans, it has been declared “Bratwurst Capital of the World,” although Germans in Germany might have something to say about that. It’s also where you’ll find “America’s Best Restrooms”: at the Kohler Arts Center, where the bathrooms boast hand-painted toilets and floor-to-ceiling tile murals.

“People call it ‘the Kohler,’ like they do ‘the Guggenheim,’” says Mike Vandersteen, the city’s mayor and a Sheboygan Rotarian for more than two decades. The art museum is famous for its residency pairing artists with the Kohler Co., a plumbing fixture manufacturer located just west of the city. (The company’s founder invented one of the first modern bathtubs here in 1883.)