DNR: Potawatomi State Park observation tower will come down

Potawatomi State Park observation tower (Photo: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources)

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Despite efforts by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to save it, the DNR has decided to bring down the Potawatomi State Park observation tower.

In a brief statement Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said three separate studies showed significant wood rot and decay throughout the tower.

The 75-foot high observation tower was built in 1932. It was closed in the winter of 2017 when the Department of Natural Resources said wood decay made the structure unsafe.

The historical society hired an independent timber expert to study the damage. He estimated 80 to 90 percent of the wood was still in good condition and said it would be less expensive to repair the tower than dismantle it.

The historical society said the DNR received their expert's findings to compare it to their own.

In 2018, when the DNR originally announced its decision to dismantle the tower, it said there were no plans for replacing it.