Iconic U.P. structure could undergo monumental changes

Iconic U.P. structure could undergo monumental changes

MARQUETTE — The Ore Dock located in the Lower Harbor of Marquette could be undergoing a huge face lift.

The Ore Dock is a prominent structure that draws curiosity from both Marquette county residents along with tourists. The structure has sat vacant since closing down in the 1980’s, but the BotEco Center is hoping to change that. With an extra 2,000 feet of shoreline, this non-profit organization is hoping to turn the Ore Dock into a usable space.

“It would really open up the shoreline and provide opportunities for folks to get out on the Harbor without having to go out on the break wall and it would be a great place to stroll in the evening and travel around and enjoy this great resource that we have of Lake Superior,” said BotEco’s Secretary, Jim Cantrill.

The four main visions that are currently being decided for the structure include; year-round public space, historical preservation, a venue for ecological education, and even a year-round green space. Having a promenade around the structure is an option that could be included with any of these designated visions.

In regards to the funding of this development, BotEco is looking for assistance from the state through grants and possible historical tax credits. Since the City of Marquette currently owns the Ore Dock, BotEco must go through a number of steps before creating any set plans for development.

“There are a lot of different scenarios of how we can phase this in and as Jim mentioned, we’ll have to make sure it’s in sync with the city master plan, harbor visory committee. We also have to look at criteria from the DEQ and the army Corps. of engineers,” said BotEco President, Gisele Duehring.

BotEco’s main mission is to collaborate with city to produce something that will give residents a source of pride for the iconic structure.

“We heard amazing stories about the work that took place and if we could transform that now into a place of recreation and kind of a sanctuary from the ills of winter, than that’s something that would help us kind of give back to the community,” said Duehring.

A representative from BotEco will be presenting their ideas at the Marquette City Commission meeting this evening, ABC TEN’s Charlie Edward will have the details at 10 p.m. tonight. For more information regarding BotEco’s plans for the Ore Dock, Click here.