2007 Historic Restoration Award
The Creamery Building was recently selected to receive the 2007 Historic Restoration Award by the Wisconsin Historical Society for its faux painting, green-conscious elements and an inviting open-air environment - all elements constituting this magnificent pillar of Fort Atkinson's Main Street.
The Creamery Building, Fort Atkinson Historic District
The Creamery Building is the largest building in Fort Atkinson's Historic District, which is listed on the National Register. The vacant brick and concrete industrial building had been modified with metal siding, covering an entire wall of a side street elevation and hiding its five stories of steel factory sash windows.
Owner Dave Young of Fort Atkinson removed the siding and replaced the deteriorated windows with replicas, thus restoring an important part of the downtown district's historic appearance. The Wisconsin Historical Society worked closely with the owner from start to finish to ensure that the project qualified for historic preservation tax credits and met the Secretary of the Interior's standards of rehabilitation.
A four-member panel of Historical Society preservation professionals selected the winning candidates for the historic preservation awards from a field of four candidates.
The Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators' Awards Committee conferred the award at its meeting in Wisconsin Dells on Saturday, June 9. Historic building receives facelift
FORT ATKINSON - Some might consider purchasing and restoring a five-story, run-down building a task too big to manage. But Dave Young, a dedicated entrepreneur and developer from Elkhorn, has managed to make it look easy.
It was almost five years ago when Young decided to buy and restore the historic Creamery Package Manufacturing Company building in downtown Fort Atkinson.
Constructed in the 1920s, the building changed hands several times over its lifespan but always redeemed its manufacturing veneer.
However, when Young purchased it, his vision for the historic marker were different.
"I appreciate the quality of this project and the excitement this project must have generated for the original developers," Young said.
Unfortunately, not much had been done over the years to keep the building in good repair. Therefore, Young's first task was to determine what could be done to restore it to its former ambiance.
He began by removing years of partitions, drop ceilings and paint and discovered underneath a great foundation.
Young took advantage of incorporating the old with the new; mixing recycled relics with green building techniques.
To help him breathe life back into the Creamery Building, Young recruited his father, David.
All it took was one look and Young's father jumped at the chance to help out.
Having prior experience in construction, David was ready for the challenge and shared his son's passion for the revitalization project.
Just over a year was spent at the beginning of the project destroying the building.
"We literally took it back to a shell inside and out," David said.
The most challenging part of the renewal project was managing the oversized windows. Each window had individual panes that had to be broken one by one, totally over 4,000.
Salvaging much of the original windows' framework for the building's interior aligned with the Youngs' desire to keep within the realms of building green.
Besides the window frames, the crew recycled over 60 yards of paper left behind by previous tenants and occupants. The crew also reused 295,000 pounds of scrap from the building, instead of throwing it all away.
The remodeling team took great care to make sure this time around the building was as energy efficient as possible.
"The challenging part was assessing what we really could do. We grounded our green-building efforts in utilizing energy efficiencies while remaining true to the building's original design and character," David said.
Young is very proud of how the project turned out over all. Seeing his vision come to life is not the only reward he received however.
The Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators and Awards Committee has selected Dave to be the 2007 Historic Restoration award winner.
The award honors the best restoration of a Wisconsin historic property. Fort Atkinson's historic Creamery Building bustles with activity once again VyMaC Corporation & Companies relocate to Fort Atkinson
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - For many of us, the late 1920s and early '30s represent an era drenched in nostalgia from the invention of the Band-Aid and the Yo-Yo to 3-D movies. Fort Atkinson, Wis. mirrored "Small-Town America" with its inhabitants enjoying simple pleasures and sticking to their rural roots tied with solid work ethics and values. Many of these people rolled out of bed with the sun barely shining to go to work at the Creamery Package Manufacturing building. This 1929 Fort Atkinson mainstay and landmark harbored an important link in America's dairy belt. But the change in America's landscape from running a tractor to running a BMW, left no stone unturned, even in small-town Fort Atkinson. The Creamery Package Manufacturing Company˙ has been long gone and the building has seen tenants come and go. In fact, the five-story building has been empty for many years... until now.
VyMaC Corporation has moved its family of companies and over 25 employees of its holdings and divisions have taken occupancy in the building, located at 201 North Main Street, Fort Atkinson. The fifth floor's halls echo with sounds of phones ringing, fingers thumping computer keyboards, iTunes playing, people talking and laughing and milling about, quite a transformation from the last known occupants of this building, a pair of pigeons.
VyMaC Properties LLP owner, serial entrepreneur and Elkhorn resident Dave R. Young never viewed the Creamery Building project as a conundrum. He spearheaded the project with an exact vision and foresight for the building's future. Every twist of the screwdriver and every stroke of the paintbrush comprised a purposeful, ulterior quest - to breathe new life into a piece of Fort Atkinson's rich heritage.
Young sums up his efforts in one word "Stewardship." After close to four years of blood, sweat and tears; Young and his staff are finally able to relish the fruits of their labor. The first floor touts a locally owned franchise of the nation's largest Craftsman-DirectĘ mattresses retailer, Verlo Mattress Factory Stores of Fort Atkinson đ a Wisconsin-based franchise concept owned by VyMaC Corporation. The Verlo franchise opened its 11,000-square-foot facility in October 2006, emulating the first signs of life seen in a long time from this proud pillar of Main Street.
Three months later, the fifth floor experienced a similar revitalization. At the peak of Fort's flagship, lies a contemporary, open environment, inviting free thinking and encouraging open banter and team building. Young's staff is not confined to the barriers of cubicle walls but savors in open spaces flooded with natural lighting, common spaces and informal seating/meeting opportunities.
"Previously, we had regional and disconnected offices. We relied on communication through faxes, emails and phone calls. Moving from the Whitewater campus has freed us to become a more united team. Much more face-to-face communication and problem solving is taking place," Young said of the move.
Young said VyMaC Corporation is the parent company of Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, consisting of accounting, advertising and administrative arms. VyMaC Corporation had called Whitewater "home" since the early 1970s and retains its manufacturing campus there to this day, but had chosen to expand its global offices to a more conducive work place.
"I am fortunate to have been able to see this project through from demolition to completion," Young said.
Would you like to see the Creamery Building? Please contact Julie Henningfield at 920.568.3103 to make arrangements. Leasing opportunities are available for the remaining floors. Visit www.creamerybuilding.com for more information.
THE MOST STATE-OF-THE-ART COMMERCIAL SPACE AWAITS YOUR BUSINESS IN THE BEST HISTORIC BUILDING THIS SIDE OF "MADWAUKEE"
Easy accessibility to restaurants, shops, walking and bike trails
Spectacular views of skyline and lakes
Two uniquely designed passenger elevators
Vast common space
Large freight elevator
Flooded with natural lighting and wide open floor space