Sturgeon Bay granary returned safely to original location

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Sturgeon Bay's historic granary made another move across the Maple-Oregon Bridge.

Sturgeon Bay's granary moves back to its west side location. June 24, 2019. (WBAY Photo)

Crews started the painstaking process of moving the 90-foot-tall grain elevator over the bridge early Monday. The granary's resting place is its original location on the city's west waterfront.

This is the second time in a little over a year that the Teweles and Brandeis granary has crossed the bridge.

It all started in 2017 when the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society received a $1.25 million donation to restore the granary. A few days later, the city's fire chief issued a raze order over concerns about structural safety.

In January of 2018, the City Council voted to have the 118-year-old granary dismantled.

A contractor was hired to salvage pieces of the granary so it could be rebuilt. That contractor sold the building to a private person who donated it to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society. The granary was saved but had to move.

In March 2018, crews moved the building across the Oregon-Maple Bridge to its temporary location on the east side. The building has been cleaned and repaired. A metal roof was put on. This was funded by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.

The spring 2018 election changed the makeup of the City Council, and the Historical Society found support for the granary. The city negotiated a contract with the Historical Society to have the $1.25 million restoration done at the original location on the west side.

The June 24 move date has arrived, and crews are hauling the building back to its original location.

"The goal is to get it to be sort of a pavilion, and it's going to be open to the public. At the minimum, the first floor will be pavilion use and the history of the building will be there for everyone to use," says Shawn Fairchild, Vice President, Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.

The granary may be used for concerts, pop up art displays and weddings.

The granary is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The granary's west side lot is still subject of an ongoing lawsuit over development.