Wittnebel Tavern

Constructed in 1906, Wittnebel’s Tavern has been a staple in Old Ashippun for generations. The Wisconsin Historical Real Estate Foundation purchased the building from the Wittnebel family in 2018 to serve as part of Old World Wisconsin‘s newest attraction, the Brewing Experience. This new attraction, in partnership with the Museum of Beer and Brewing, includes a brand-new building along with Wittnebel’s Tavern. The experience will showcase the process of beer production from farm to pint glass for Old World Wisconsin visitors. The only problem being, how do you move a 115-year-old building from one town to another 27 miles apart?

Balestrieri was trusted with asbestos abatement and demolition oversight for this project. Project Manager Richard Heyer and Field Manager Kevin Leahy worked closely and coordinated with other contractors hired to work on the project.

This is certainly not your standard asbestos abatement project, as buildings traditionally stay in one location. There were hazardous materials found within the building which had to be abated, along with the challenge of prepping and moving the structure without disrupting additional hazardous materials, or damaging the historical aspects to the tavern. Said Heyer, “We always think outside the box for how something can be done. We go beyond traditional means and methods.”

Balestrieri worked with all other contractors involved to come up with a plan to safely abate what was necessary without damaging the historical aspects of the building. “This is a very critical project for Old World Wisconsin, one that positions us well for our future,” said Dan Freas, Old World Wisconsin’s site director. While on-site, Balestrieri field crew oversaw demolition activities and supervised the process of separating the building from a residential structure attached. The tavern will then be lifted and transported from Old Ashippun to Eagle to be reassembled at its new home this summer.