Manitowoc Beer Bottles Stay Up
Within the last 48 hours, Manitowoc's Mayor says he was bombarded with emails and phone calls--all pleading with him to preserve a piece of history. Video by nbc26.comvideo
Manitowoc's giant Budweiser beer bottles won't come down after all. After more than a thousand emails and phone calls poured into city hall, the mayor reached an agreement with Riverland AG to keep this downtown landmark in tact.
The chilling thought of the beer bottles going bottoms-up, has Pat Kasten and her friend saving a symbol of the past.
"My husband used to work here," Kasten said, who was taking pictures of the mural. "I grew up my whole life in this area, so even as a kid when you're driving down the street you would see the beer bottle signs."
But Anheuser-Bush sold its malting plant in Manitowoc last year and because the new owners didn't brew beer, city law required them to take down the murals.
Until the community stepped in.
"Really it was a grassroots effort that our community can be proud of," Mike Maher, executive director of Manitowoc County Historical Society said.
Maher was one of over a thousand people who emailed the mayor fighting to keep the 50-year-old mural up.
"It's not just some bottles of beer, but it represents all the work that has gone into the production of beer and production of malt here in Manitowoc. And we've always taken pride in our manufacturing, so it's a symbol of something much larger than a superficial sign," Maher said.
The mayor tells us a fundraising effort is underway to help pay for the mural's upkeep and save a piece of Kasten's life.
"I was surprised. I didn't realize they were trying to keep it, so I think that's a good thing for the community," Kasten said.
The mayor says he sent a proposed ordinance to Manitowoc's City Council over a month ago that would allow historical murals to stay in the community.