Ribbon cutting celebrates new Eagle Tower

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:23 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT
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DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officially marked the opening of the new Eagle Tower with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday.

The tower offers panoramic views of Peninsula State Park, local islands and the Upper Michigan shoreline. The DNR describes it as a trendy site for viewing sunsets and taking selfies.

Eagle Tower is 60 feet high. The top observation deck is 253 feet above the Bay of Green Bay. The DNR says it is the only fully accessible wood observation tower of its height in the United States.

A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates the new Eagle Tower. July 9, 2021.
A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates the new Eagle Tower. July 9, 2021.(WBAY)

”We’ve been camping here for a couple of years, and after seeing it under construction getting to come up here and actually see it in person has been really awesome,” Mark Deering from Madison said.

Eagle Tower features 100 tower stairs and a fully accessible canopy walk.

“The Eagle Tower is a celebration of community and making outdoor recreation opportunities available to anyone, regardless of your ability,” said Diane Brusoe, DNR Deputy Division Administrator for the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Division.

The DNR says the tower was built using “new wood technology.” Construction included glulam, which is described as a “stress-rated engineered wood beam.”

“The feedback we’ve received is overwhelmingly positive,” said Eric Hyde, DNR Peninsula State Park Superintendent. “Visitors are enjoying the new tower, whether it’s been a decades-long tradition to visit or a brand-new experience. The Eagle Tower is back, and we couldn’t be prouder of how it’s turned out.”

The original Eagle Tower was built in 1914. It was deconstructed and rebuilt in 1932. The 1932 tower was closed in 2015 due to structural safety concerns. It was deconstructed the next year.

Local and state groups came together to raise funds for the new $3.5 million Eagle Tower. It was a partnership between state lawmakers, the DNR and Friends of Peninsula State Park.

With Eagle Tower now complete, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society hopes the DNR will focus on renovating other historical towers in the state, specifically the Potawatomi tower in Sister Bay, which was built long before Eagle Tower.

“This state tower will bring a new generation of people to the state parks and add a life time of experiences to them, just as Potawatomi tower connects us all to our childhood,” Christie Weber, Sturgeon Bay Historical Society president, said.

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