The historic preservation committee supports the attic to be saved

Just days after an anonymous donor pledged $1.25 million to stabilize and restore the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator on Sturgeon Bay’s western waterfront, the town’s Historic Preservation Committee has officially expressed its support for the preservation of the structure during its meeting on Monday 30 October.

The committee passed a resolution urging the common council “to do everything possible to stabilize, salvage, and safely restore the historic attic using private funds from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and the Door County Community Foundation, and additionally , to support the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society’s request for an 18-month period during which the grain elevator would remain protected from demolition, for the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to solidify and present a community-designed plan.

About 50 people turned out for the meeting, which was called after Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman issued a razing order for the grain elevator on October 17.

George Evenson addresses the Sturgeon Bay Historic Preservation Committee on October 30. Photo of Myles Dannhausen Jr.

The $1.25 million donation is enough for the historical society to do whatever it wants with the grain elevator, said historical society member Christie Weber. Engineering studies estimated that $150,000 was needed to stabilize the structure. The remaining funds could be used for restoration efforts and to create an endowment for ongoing operations. The building was listed on the Wisconsin Register of Historic Places in August.

No participant spoke against the resolution, while several spoke in favor, none more forcefully than George Evenson.

Evenson, 88, is Door County’s official historian and served as president of the Door County Historical Society for 20 years.

“Farming built Sturgeon Bay, not the shipyards,” Evenson said as he demonstrated the importance of the grain elevator to the town’s evolution.

“The unique size and shape of this building makes it easily recognizable to people,” he said.

“If you live long enough in Door County, you’d say everything has changed,” Evenson continued. “And that will continue to change. But there should be something, little steps along the way, that remind us of our history. Historic preservation is not pretty. But I think this building is prettier than anything you could put in it. People come into town and look at our waterfront and they can feel the activity that was so important to our waterfront and our waterfront. And that’s something that’s going to add something real to the waterfront . »

Before the meeting ended, Chris Kellems, a frequent speaker at council meetings regarding the western waterfront, pledged $10,000 from his family for the attic restoration.

“I put my money where my mouth is,” she said.

The resolution and the donation do not guarantee that the structure will be saved. Dietman said his shaving order was final. The order came after Dietman deemed the building to be structurally unsound and a risk to public health and safety.

Sturgeon Bay Town Council is expected to discuss the future of the grain elevator at its noon meeting Nov. 7 at Town Hall.

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