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Blues museum, restaurant proposed for lakefront PDF Print E-mail
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:02

Port development would also include entertainment venue on historic site of Paramount recording headquarters

A Madison businessman and a Port Washington developer on Monday proposed creating a Paramount blues-themed museum, restaurant, entertainment venue and banquet facility on lakefront land the city is contemplating selling.

The two-story Blues Factory building would take up the entire parking lot at the north end of the north slip — land that was once the home of the Wisconsin Chair Co., the parent company of Paramount Records.

It would become a destination for tourists and residents alike, as well as a permanent reminder of the importance of the Chair Company and Paramount Records, Blues Factory President and CEO Christopher Long told the Community Development Authority.

“The idea is all about the story of the Chair Company and Paramount Records,” said Long, who was accompanied by his business partner Gertjan van den Broek. “It’s a very important part of the community’s history, and we want to create a showcase to tell this story. We see this as a way to keep the story alive.

“It’s a story that has broad appeal. Many people, what they know of Port Washington, is the story of Paramount Records.”

The Blues Factory will become a destination, Long predicted, drawing people to downtown just as the Port Historical Society’s Exploreum is expected to do.

Long said he would like to open the Blues Factory in 2017, in time to celebrate the centennial of the founding of Paramount Records.        

His concept was met with enthusiasm by CDA members.

“I really like this idea,” Ald. Mike Ehrlich, a member of the city’s Community Development Authority, said. “It fits in with the things we’ve been talking about — a unique destination, a catalyst for downtown development and a sustainable business.

“It also fits with the history of Port Washington.”
    

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:11
 
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