By Tim Kowols
The exploratory committee for a planned Sturgeon Bay Center for the Arts hopes structural engineers are called to the former granary building for one last look before its demolition is scheduled. A restored granary was to be used as a three season multipurpose space for exhibits, speakers, and events under the plans discussed with city officials Thursday afternoon. CFTA member Hans Christian says the raze order is sudden and also a little problematic.
Christian says if the granary is found unsafe and beyond repair after structural engineers make a final review, the CFTA exploratory committee would have to go back to see what changes are needed to be made to their plans. The CFTA is slated to also include a second location for the Miller Art Museum, a theater, and a large outdoor public space. Structural engineers last did a comprehensive report on the granary in 2013.
STATEMENT FROM THE STURGEON BAY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
The CFTA Exploratory Committee has worked diligently over the past four months to develop plans for a new community and arts center on the westside waterfront that would consist of four elements:
- A “Modern Miller” wing as a second location for the Miller Art Museum
- A 125-150 seat theater for Third Avenue Playhouse
- A large multi-use public space with free exhibits and community events
- A restored, cleaned up and structurally secured Granary that can also be used as a flexible three season space for events, exhibits, and lectures about our city’s history.
Our committee believes that the Granary is a treasure to our community because it symbolizes the proud efforts of past generations to till the land and distribute the fruits of their labor around the country. It symbolizes the agricultural foundation of our community, and with it the spirit of the people that settled this land. We feel indeed fortunate to have such an iconic structure right in our midst and believe that thorough efforts should be taken to protect, restore, and preserve the granary.
Our plans for a possible CFTA in this particular location were inspired by the opportunity to celebrate history through creativity. Our motto is “…where community and creativity meet…” and to celebrate creativity and community with a restored historic icon in our midst would indeed raise Sturgeon Bay to another level.
If this unique building is found to be unsafe and beyond repair than we have missed out on our responsibility to preserve and honor our community’s history. Our committee urges all parties involved to examine the structure of Teweles & Brandeis Grain Elevator with expert help and determine its condition.