Beth Renstrom has been tapped as the person to lead the efforts to restore the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator for future generations.
The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announced the selection on Monday as it works with the city to develop the granary building into a three-season event space. Once completed, the 75-foot structure would help anchor the city’s west waterfront redevelopment while housing a catering kitchen, a public restroom, and interpretative displays. Renstrom is tasked with being the point person for the architectural and construction teams as well as telling the story of the granary.
She and her husband Jay moved to Sturgeon Bay to become full-time residents in 2016 after almost two decades working for the global software company Oracle. In the release, Renstrom stated she has been a supporter of the granary for a long time and appreciates the community’s value of history.
We will have more with Renstrom later this week.
FULL RELEASE FROM THE STURGEON BAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation is pleased to announce that Beth Renstrom has been engaged as acting executive director in charge of the group’s efforts to convert the historic 1901 Teweles and Brandeis Granary to a three-season event space as part of the City of Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront redevelopment plan.
The Historical Society Foundation is working to fulfill an agreement with the City of Sturgeon Bay to provide a gathering space for both private and public events – family reunions, art fairs, weddings, small business meetings, etc. – as part of a waterfront park. The finished structure will house a catering kitchen and a public restroom and include interpretive displays sharing the granary’s unique role in the settlement the City’s westside, once called Sawyer, and the greater Sturgeon Bay area.
Christie Weber, SBHSF president, says, “We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Beth’s experience, passion and dedication. She will act as the point person for all aspects of the project, connecting our architectural team (LaDallman), the construction team (SMET) and the many volunteers who are engaged in the success of this effort. She will also help facilitate our fundraising efforts and communicate our progress and needs to the greater community. This is a huge and important project, and we have faith that Beth, with her professional experience, natural enthusiasm and love of history, is the right person to lead it.”
Renstrom worked for the global software company Oracle, Inc. for nearly two decades and retired as director and senior product manager. She was responsible for guiding major initiatives from concept to resolution and led teams in marketing strategy, sales and partner relationships. Her areas of expertise include communication, team building and problem solving.
Renstrom and her husband, Jay, have long ties to Door County and moved to Sturgeon Bay full-time in 2016. They are active in many community organizations.
“I’m thrilled and honored to accept this position,” said Renstrom. “I’ve been a supporter of the Teweles and Brandeis Granary for a long time and am proud to live in a community that values its history. More and more people are realizing the importance of saving the authentic structures that illuminate aspects of our past. Making the granary relevant for the present and sustainable into the future is a challenge I look forward to. We have a great, creative team working on this.”
The Teweles and Brandeis Granary is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is believed to be one of the last remaining grain elevators of its kind on the Great Lakes. The 75-foot tall structure (when restored) includes 19 wooden bins for grain storage on its second floor. The 20th bin space housed a manlift that allowed a worker to pull himself up to the headhouse to control a manually-rotated grain diverter. Farm families throughout the region brought harvested grain to the Teweles and Brandeis elevator where it could be stored until it was loaded onto a boat or railway car for shipment to the Milwaukee or Chicago markets.
One of Renstrom’s priorities will be communicating the granary’s story and restoration progress with the public and donors. “So much has been happening behind the scenes – design work, cost estimating, lease negotiations, etc. To the average person, it looks like nothing is happening. We’re excited to start sharing the project and engaging with the community more broadly.”