Renstrom to Lead Granary-Restoration Project

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation (SBHSF) has engaged Beth Renstrom as acting executive director to lead its efforts to convert the 1901 Teweles and Brandeis granary to a three-season event space as part of the City of Sturgeon Bay’s West Waterfront redevelopment plan.

The SBHSF, which owns the structure, is working to fulfill an agreement with the City of Sturgeon Bay to provide a gathering space for both private and public events – such as family reunions, art fairs, weddings and small business meetings – as part of a waterfront park. That agreement, finalized late last year, contains details of both parties’ responsibilities to the project and a deadline of June 2022 to complete all renovations. 

The finished structure will house a catering kitchen, public restroom and interpretive displays sharing the granary’s role in the settlement of the city’s westside – once called Sawyer – and the greater Sturgeon Bay area. The City has agreed to run sewer and water service to the building. 

Renstrom said much work has been taking place behind the scenes, including design, cost estimating and lease negotiations.

“To the average person, it looks like nothing is happening,” she said. “We’re excited to start sharing the project and engaging with the community more broadly.”

The building was moved to its current location on the west side of the Oregon Street bridge in 2019. Another move is pending, but this one will be permanent and not far from the current location.

“I don’t have any details on the move as of yet, but it’s definitely on the agenda,” Renstrom said. “First steps are to understand the current status of the project, working with the [SBHSF] board to carry forth the vision of the 1901 Teweles and Brandeis granary, and fulfill the development agreement with the city.” 

Christie Weber, SBHSF president, said Renstrom will be the point person for all aspects of the project.

“This is a huge and important project, and we have faith that Beth – with her professional experience, natural enthusiasm and love of history – is the right person to lead it,” Weber said.

Renstrom worked for the global software company Oracle for nearly two decades and retired as a director and senior product manager. She was responsible for guiding major initiatives from concept to resolution and led teams in marketing strategy, sales and partner relationships. Her areas of expertise include communication, team-building and problem-solving.

Renstrom and her husband, Jay, have long ties to Door County and moved to Sturgeon Bay full time in 2016. She said she’s proud to live in a community that values the granary’s history and recognizes the importance of saving authentic structures that illuminate aspects of the community’s past.

“The history of our community held within the building is immense,” Renstrom said. “I want to make sure we do justice to that as well as ensure it is a viable and vibrant part of our Westside Waterfront.” 

The Teweles and Brandeis granary is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is believed to be one of the last remaining grain elevators of its kind on the Great Lakes. 

The SBHSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history that defines Sturgeon Bay’s character and cultural evolution. 

Learn more about the granary project and how to contribute to its restoration fund at