Engineer's Report: Tear Down Eagle Tower In Peninsula State Park

- FISH CREEK, Wis (WFRV) A Door County landmark closed since just before Memorial Day weekend won't be reopening. That according to DNR officials who say the observation tower in Peninsula State Park will instead likely be torn down.

For decades the Eagle Tower has stood in Peninsula State Park, giving those who make the 75-foot climb sweeping views of the Bay of Green Bay. But according to this engineering report those days are likely done - stating this popular tourist attraction is no longer "structurally adequate."

"It basically outlines the fact the structural integrity of the structure has failed and we need to close it for safety concerns and take it down," said Missy Vanlanduyt, DNR capital development coordinator. "That it's not worth rebuilding."

A structural assessment of the tower was done in April by DNR consultant, Edge Consulting Engineers. Inspectors say "..X-bracing between columns was extremely loose....allowing the overall structure to move excessively in the wind." Supports and stair treads were deteriorated and tower movement was noticeable at the top level  "...with weight shifts of two individuals."

"It's over 80-years old, worn out at the end of its life expectancy," said Jerry Leiterman, a DNR supervisor with the Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

"Bottom line - over time with weathering, insects, birds, things like that - it has just deteriorated over time and no longer able to support the load the structure was designed for," said Vanlanduyt.

Going forward the tower will remain closed - the question now is what to do next. The DNR says the report recommends tearing it down and building new. It's a conclusion the agency must now consider.

"Over the next couple months we're going to spend time looking at best methods to remove it, costs and also several options for building a similar recreational facility," Vanlanduyt said.

With a plan to move forward hopefully decided by the fall.

State officials say they know how important the observation tower is to the entire Door County community - bringing in tourists from all across the Midwest.

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