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Work Progressing on Door County Granary

The Door County Granary project site on Sturgeon Bay’s West Waterfront is a busy place as of late with three months remaining before its scheduled, substantial-completion date at the end of July.

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation (SBHSF), which is responsible for the project, has a development agreement with the city for the project taking place in Tax Increment District (TID) #4.

After the first phase involved putting in place a new foundation for the original 1901 building and the new addition, the former Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator is now undergoing the second of three phases of work, which includes ground-floor renovations, cladding of the entire granary and completion of the addition.

“Right now onsite we’re covering the building in Tyvek, getting prepared for siding to go up next, and preparing to install windows and those exterior features,” said Door County Granary project manager Nicole Matson. “Then we’ll also be working on the interior, finishing off the addition, public restrooms, kitchen space and the ground floor work house will get a new floor and lighting.”

Workers on Monday covered the south side of the original building in Tyvek commercial wrap, over which metal siding reclaimed from another granary torn down in Superior will be installed. 

The addition, to be covered with cedar siding, will include a prep kitchen, mechanical equipment, storage and two restrooms.

Nate Brown, a project manager with Greenfire Management Services, the Granary’s general contractor, said a lot of the exterior work with doors, windows and siding will be ongoing through July.

“The final entire interior fitout will be around early July – drywall, paint, tile – all the pretty stuff,” he said.

Brown said several subcontractors from northeast Wisconsin are involved in the Granary project.

“We really try to focus on getting subcontractors that are within the region or that have some knowledge of the project,” he said.

(From left) Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation executive director Michael Telzrow, Door County Granary project manager Nicole Matson, Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation president Laurel Hauser and Greenfire Management Services project manager Nate Brown pose for a picture inside the original grain elevator now being renovated on Sturgeon Bay’s West Waterfront. Photo by Kevin Boneske.

Brown said Greenfire will be involved in the project through the finish of phase two and then preparing for the third and final phase, which will involve completion of the upper bin level. He said the hope is that maybe phase three could be completed at this time next year.

Project architect James Dallman is also on hand at the Granary site to oversee a variety of aspects of the adaptive reuse.

James Dallman, architect for the Door County Granary project, is with LA DALLMAN Architects. Photo by Kevin Boneske.

“It’s very involved to convert a building like that into civic use, because it has all sorts of code implications,” he said.  

The project is being funded by private donations and $3.3 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development for improving property.

SBHSF president Laurel Hauser said the project now has enough funds to complete the second phase, but will need to raise additional funds to finish the third and final phase.

“I think that phase three will resonate with donors, just because it’s exciting to think about getting to the top of the headhouse,” she said. “That’s something that they only used to do by taking a manlift up to the top. And this way, people will get to take stairs, and there will be a little elevator and stairs 75 feet up.”

Hauser said a “soft opening” for the Granary, which will have a public gathering space on the ground floor, is planned for this fall, with the grand opening to take place upon completion of the upper level next year.

Michael Telzrow, SBHSF’s new executive director, said he will be seeing the Granary project through to the end of construction.

“The big-picture stuff is developing programs and structures to sustain the foundation, and then of course to see this project through with the rest of my colleagues, and then to develop public programs for the building, so that people can not only enjoy the architecture, they can learn something about the building itself and the impact of agriculture on the area,” he said.

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