LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

Door County Maritime Museum receives $1 Million gift from George Kress Foundation

Local News

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The George Kress Foundation will contribute $1 million to the expansion efforts of the Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) in Sturgeon Bay.

“We are very appreciative of this generous support from the George Kress Foundation,” said DCMM Executive Director Kevin Osgood. “We are so pleased they decided to join with the almost 200 other local families and institutions who have made generous donations to this ambitious project.”

Osgood continued, “It really is exciting and humbling to receive this gift. We are quickly approaching our goal.”

The Maritime Museum has been working toward expanding its Sturgeon Bay facility with a 10-story Maritime Lighthouse Tower along the Sturgeon Bay inner harbor, and the gift from the George Kress Foundation gets them that much closer.

“I am excited about the Maritime Museum and proud to support it,” said Will Kress, President of Green Bay Packaging.  “The expanded museum will be a tremendous educational experience for all ages and advances the George Kress Foundation’s commitment to promote opportunities for our youth.”

Will’s father, James F. Kress, also inspired the donation. “My dad enjoyed spending time in Door County,” Will noted. “He would be fond of the maritime history and lighthouse experience.”

Highlights of The Lighthouse Tower

  • Ten floors of creative, interactive educational displays highlighting our shared maritime history, people and industries
  • Convenient accessibility to a lighthouse experience that will accommodate everyone regardless of physical abilities

With the addition of this unique and iconic landmark Lighthouse Tower, many far-reaching benefits will be realized, including:

  • A must-see maritime experience that will draw visitors to our area from far and wide
  • An intriguing destination that will generate tremendous interest and activity and create a significant economic boost to the region
  • Educational experiences that will teach young and old, keep our history alive and help to promote interest in maritime-related local career opportunities

Educational Program

The educational program will emphasize the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (STEAM) inherent throughout the maritime and marine industries and across the state of Wisconsin.

Exhibits on all ten floors will incorporate interactive digital displays to highlight how STEAM is vital to designing, engineering, building, manufacturing, and operating the regionally produced ships and boats, our world-class Inland Navigation System, and highly-complex technological equipment. No other museum environment in this region of Wisconsin has this kind of immersive educational experience.

Exhibits and programs within the Tower will use high-tech, interactive displays designed to capture the imagination of the next generation of Wisconsin’s workforce.

DCMM is currently working with area K-12 school districts and subject matter experts to develop a STEAM curriculum approach for existing and future exhibits and programs that will appeal to and inspire the next generation to consider careers in the maritime industries.

From the indoor and outdoor observation decks atop the tower, to the event space on floor two, this tower will be a place that inspires, teaches, and instills a sense of pride in our community and our shared maritime history.

Tower to Light a Brighter Future

The Maritime Lighthouse Tower will bring a brighter future for everyone in Door County. It will light the way for countless young people who will find inspiration to pursue careers in engineering, environmental sciences, and maritime technologies – all careers vital to the economy of Door County and throughout our state. It will also become a significant revenue-generating economic stimulus that will bring more business and success to many others throughout Door County.

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