'Ore Dock BotEco Center' project receives funding through Northern Michigan University

 On the model, one-sixteenth of an inch equals 12 inches.
On the model, one-sixteenth of an inch equals 12 inches. (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 4, 2019 at 5:45 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Art and Design students at Northern Michigan University have completed a scale-model of the Ore Dock BotEco Center.

The model, which is on display at Travel Marquette, was made possible due to funding from NMU’s PRIME Fund. From start to finish, the model took around six months to complete.

"It was a matter of transcribing all of the scale models to a smaller scale and making sure we're capturing all the details without being over-obsessive about them,” said NMU Human-Centered Design Professor, Peter Pless.

The BotEco Center will re-purpose the downtown Marquette Ore Dock, turning it into a shared public space that includes year-round botanical gardens and performance spaces.

"The nearest year-round gardens are in Milwaukee, and so in February it would be a real treat to have some green space right here, without having to drive so far,” said Friends of Ore Dock BotEco Center Board President, Gisele Duehring.

The Friends of Ore Dock BotEco Center is the non-profit organization behind the project.

Also included in the PRIME Fund award is funding for a business plan and an economic impact analysis. These, along with the scale model, will be presented to possible donors that may want to invest in the project and construction.

"We're not using tax dollars. We're going out for grants and other donations,” Duehring added.

Also included in the plans are a focus on historical preservation and education about the Ore Dock.

Duehring added that the center will be a welcoming place during the long U.P. winters.

"The snow, whether it's dreary and bleary, or it's sparkly and refreshing, it's still good to have some contact with the green plants and the blossoms and just the smell of the soil,” she said.

The actual construction of the space is composed of three phases: building a connector from the shoreline to the Ore Dock and a promenade around the Ore Dock, enclosing portions of the dock, and finally, gaining access to the "upper deck” which will be on top of the Ore Dock.

Duehring added that due to different zoning requirements involving the city, state, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the approval process for plans and different phases will be time consuming. She added that she hopes to have the BotEco Center up and running in about 10 years.

For more on the BotEco Center, click