Sturgeon Bay Council Votes to Tear Down Granary

The old granary building on Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront will be razed in January if a private group or individual does not come forward with funds and a plan to save it by Jan. 1, 2018.

The granary, which may be added to the National Register of Historic Places this month, has fallen into disrepair since the city purchased it in 2012. City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout said that placement on the registry would prohibit the city from using TIF funds to raze the building.

After Fire Chief Timothy Dietman issued an emergency order barring access to the building for safety reasons May 26, the city solicited bids to stabilize or raze the structure. Estimates to raze the building ranged from $65,000 – $85,000, while estimates to stabilize the structure ranged from $138,739 – $148,739.

Those estimates made Alderman Stewart Fett lean toward razing the structure.

“Obviously, if you read through it the foundation is in bad, bad shape and needs significant money to be repaired,” Fett said.

Fett motioned to demolish the building no sooner than Jan. 1, 2018, to allow time for a group or person to come forward to save or restore the elevator. In the public comment period, city resident Hans Christian presented a rough outline for a Center for the Arts that could incorporate the granary. Christian said the center would possibly serve as a new home for existing arts organizations and an educational center.

Alderman Ron Vandertie blamed the lawsuit brought by Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront for the predicament.

“The reason the granary is still standing is because there was a price tag of $65,000 to tear it down, and we were led to believe there was interest in using the building in new development,” he said. “Since the lawsuit, we’ve not only lost the brewpub restaurant, but we’ve lost a developer who possibly would restructure and use it. It’s the lawsuit that has put us all behind the eight ball.”

The motion carried with Alderwomen Barbara Allmann, Kelly Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser dissenting.


The granary building on Sturgeon Bay's west waterfront has fallen into disrepair. Photo by Jacob Dannhausen-Brun.

Granary at Center of Waterfront Controversy

The fate of Sturgeon Bay's Granary building on the west waterfront brought Sturgeon Bay


Engineers estimate it will cost up to $148,739 to stabilize the old granary building in Sturgeon Bay.Photo by Jacob Dannhausen-Brun.


The granary building is located on Sturgeon Bay's west waterfront, which has been the subject of controversy since 2012. Photo by Jacob Dannhausen-Brun.


The Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator was placed on the Wisconsin Register of Historic Places in August. The city could vote on bids to take it down Tuesday, Dec. 19. Photo by Jacob Dannhausen-Brun.

Related Organizations

Article Comments