For immediate Release – August 25, 2017
On Friday, the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board affirmed the significance of the Teweles & Brandeis grain elevator, located on Sturgeon Bay’s west side. By unanimous vote, the Board approved the granary for inclusion on the State Registry of Historic Places, noting the role it played in the region’s community and agricultural life. The Board action culminates a designation process that began in 2015. The State Historic Preservation Officer will now forward the Board’s findings to the federal Department of the Interior, which will evaluate the granary for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The granary has always been a hub of economic activity,” said Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber. “Farmers used to bring wagons full of peas there for processing and sale, and of course local people remember the granary’s many years as part of the Door County Co-op complex. We’re grateful to the Preservation Review Board for its meticulous work evaluating the granary and gratified that the Board deemed it worthy of listing. It’s an honor.”
Alderman Kelly Catarozoli also attended the Friday meeting in Madison. “Many cities’ most beloved places were once abandoned historic structures that have been returned to economic productivity thanks to thoughtful rehabilitation. Some people see only a dilapidated structure, but we’ve come a long way from redevelopment by wrecking ball. With the Maritime Museum, the trail system and Sawyer Park, we’ve got the makings of a waterfront cultural district. That would be consistent with the site’s status as public land and also complement the commercial and industrial uses we already have along our waterfront. The more distinctive Sturgeon Bay becomes, and the better the access we provide to the water, the more competitive we will be as a tourism destination too,” said Catarozoli.
The building’s distinctive profile and waterfront location make it attractive for a range of public, private and not-for-profit uses. “National designation would also help a future not-for-profit user, because the building’s rehabilitation creates another fundraising objective they can use to attract support. The Historical Society is working to get a handle on the building’s renovation requirements and clarity about what the Sturgeon Bay City Council needs to become confident that adaptive reuse is the best strategy for the granary and the City,” said Weber.
The Historical Society wants the granary to return to productivity to further both economic development and historic preservation in Sturgeon Bay. “It’s a little counter-intuitive,” said Weber, “but the best way to preserve a building is to fill it with bustling activity. We want the granary to be a magnet for community life and a hub of commerce… fulfilling its historic role in a way that makes sense for contemporary Sturgeon Bay. “
For further information, contact Kelly Avenson at (920) 559-0504.