Sturgeon Bay – The Dor County Cereals Project received a major financial boost on Friday afternoon.
The 1923 Fund, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit, has donated $100,000 to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society for its work to rehabilitate the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront, transforming them into a community cultural center and educational facility.
“The incredible generosity and support of the 1923 Trust brings us one step closer to our goal of creating a public cultural center and agricultural museum on the western waterfront of Sturgeon Bay,” said Beth Renstrom, executive director of the Granary Project, in a press release. “While wood grain elevators were once ubiquitous and played a large role in establishing the United States as a food superpower, there are very few left. As far as we know, our warehouse will be the only localized granary in the Great Lakes region and possibly the country.”
“The 1923 Fund is proud to be a partner in celebrating Sturgeon Bay and Door County’s unique history,” said David Ward, Sturgeon Bay mayor and treasurer of 1923, who made the donation during a special event Friday. We are looking forward. to the granary that takes place on the West Waterfront adjacent to the Door County Maritime Museum and Park, where they come together to create a unique public space in Door County and Wisconsin.”
The 1923 Fund was founded in 1996 by the family of the late Austin Kufrin, who founded and was president of papermaking giant Fort Howard Corp in Green Bay. She has provided funding to support projects at educational institutions such as the Kofrin Memorial Arboretum, the Widener Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and museums and colleges at the University of Florida. Other money went to projects at the Door County Naval Museum, Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay, and many other efforts.
Related: Groundbreaking contract for controversial Sturgeon Bay granary renovation
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The 90-foot-high granary was built in 1901 and is considered by many to be a landmark of the waterfront and the town’s agricultural history. But it remained idle for 50 years and was demolished because it was in poor condition and was partially dismantled. In 2018, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, with the help of an anonymous donor, organized a campaign to preserve the structure and obtained listings for it in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
The Door County granary will be the name of the community center resulting from the rehabilitation. The center’s design by Milwaukee-based architecture firm La Dallman received a quote at the 68th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards in 2021 from Architect, the magazine of the American Institute of Architects.
The way for the project was cleared in November, but construction delays due to supply issues prompted the planned opening of the ground floor until May 2023.
Fundraising continues, and Laurel Hauser, president of the Historical Society Foundation, said these efforts have had “good momentum” recently as donors become more aware of the project and the historic significance of the granary.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900, or [email protected]