Door County Historical Museum and Archives Project Moves Forward

The Door County Board of Supervisors hired design firm Dorschner Associates last week for $37,600 to proceed with a Phase I plan for the Door County Historical Museum and Archives project.

Phase I includes a schematic design and design development to flesh out estimated construction costs for the project. Before proceeding to Phase II of the capital project – construction documents and competitive bidding – the county board will have an opportunity to “check back in and decide if it wanted to proceed,” said Ken Pabich, county administrator.

The scope of the project is to build an addition onto the existing museum for additional museum space and space for archives. Recent estimates put construction costs for the addition at $4.6 million.

In 2019, the county purchased the former Younkers building at 56 N. 4th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay for $505,000, with the intention of using the 22,000-square-foot, vacant building next door to the Door County Historical Museum for archival space and parking. But a master plan recently completed for all of the County of Door’s Sturgeon Bay buildings determined no specific use for the Younkers building except to retain the parking for the museum.

The County of Door purchased this 22,000-square-foot building at 56 N 4th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay in 2019 for $505,000. At that time, the county believed it could use the building for the museum, which is right across the street, for archival space and parking. A master plan delivered earlier this year said there was no specific county need for the property except to retain the parking. Photo by Rachel Lukas.

In answer to a question by Supervisor Vinni Chomeau about whether they could use the Younkers building for the museum project, Wayne Spritka, Door County facilities and parks director, said he did not see that happening.

“It’s just not the right space for archives and museum space,” he said.