Supporters of the Potawatomi State Park Tower should know within a few weeks if the U.S. Department of Interior will name the structure to the National Register. The state’s preservation review board voted unanimously last week to designate the tower as a historic place. Jason Flatt, a historical preservation specialist and consultant from Marinette, who writes national register nominations for historic buildings, was commissioned by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to do the legwork in getting the Potawatomi State Park Tower designated to the state register of historic places. He says the tower met two of the four criteria needed to be considered for historic preservation.
Flatt notes that Potawatomi State Park Tower was the first purpose-built recreation observation tower erected in a state park or forest (Eagle Tower in Fish Creek was initially designed as a fire lookout tower). The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has fought to restore the tower, while the Wisconsin DNR had deemed the tower unsafe to climb and proposed razing the structure. Flatt adds that state law is clear that the DNR is now required to work with the State Historic Preservation Office in determining the future of the tower.