Groundbreaking held Sept. 8
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Construction on the future Wenzel Family Plaza began Sept.8, marked by a groundbreaking ceremony held on the west 200 block of downtown Marshfield.
Mayor Chris Meyer said that the plaza was an opportunity for Marshfield to reinvent the downtown area.
“Our downtown — and downtowns are really what this project is about — is a thriving downtown,” he said. “I know a lot of people sometimes look at downtowns and say that’s something that was popular back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and now we go to malls and supercenters, and there is a lot of truth to that. That is why downtowns have struggled over the last several decades.
“But as downtowns reinvent themselves, one of the things that they look for is a place that people can gather: places to hold events, places to bring people and hold people so that there not just parking in front of one store, running in, doing their business, and leaving the downtown.
“This has been part … of the Downtown Master Plan for several decades, and it wasn’t until the city acquired this property really in an effort to help develop it into a development of some sort, selling the property, that the opportunity presented itself to create this green space.”
Boson Construction began work immediately following the ceremony on the site that was once home to the Marshfield News-Herald.
The area will serve as a multiuse, year-round gathering space for the community for events, relaxation, art, and entertainment. The plaza will include a performance stage, warm weather water feature, dining area, seating, a winter ice rink, and more.
The plaza is being built with a combination of city and private funds, which includes a large contribution by the Wenzel family, creators of Wenzel Farm Sausage.
Judy Wenzel served as speaker on behalf of the family and said, “My father, Harry J. Wenzel, had a very simple, straight-forward philosophy. He always said, ‘Leave a place better because you have been there.’
“My father, mother, and my brother Russell were dedicated to making Marshfield a better place. Clearly, Marshfield is a community of people who embrace and live by that philosophy. It shows in the many unique parks, buildings, and projects that make this city so very special.
“I hope the Wenzel Family Plaza will be a centerpiece for continued improvement in downtown Marshfield.”