Structural engineer says Potawatomi State Park Tower is salvageable

Local News


The Potawatomi State Park Tower was the subject of discussion at a meeting Tuesday night held by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation (SBHSF).

The tower – which stretches 75 feet tall and overlooks the waters of Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay – has been closed since last winter. The Wisconsin DNR shut down the landmark – which has stood since the 1930s – after inspectors found decay and recommended it be dismantled. But structural engineer Dan Tingley, who recently completed a study on the tower, says he came to a different conclusion.

“(The) key finding is that the vast majority of this tower has great wood in it, ready to go another hundred years,” he said.

Tuesday evening, Tingley said that 80-90% of the building is structurally sound.

“If that structure is 80 or 90% good, why would we tear it down?” he said. “The cost of tearing it down is more than the cost of fixing it. And so, if that’s the case and it has historical significance for the community, why wouldn’t we save it?”

The SBHSF, who has been working to try to preserve the tower, will submit Tingley’s findings to the DNR, who will compare his study to their own study.

“We’re thrilled, we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Christie Weber, the foundation’s president. “The next step is to get this newest portion of the study to the DNR, who we’ve been working with, and have them include that into their assessment.”

Tingley said the tower could potentially be repaired for less than $100,000.

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