Case Study: The Mars Cheese Castle

When asked about Wisconsin, most people’s first thought is usually about cheese. However, true cheese addicts may also think about the Mars Cheese Castle. Started in 1947, the Mars Cheese Castle has served hungry travelers from around the area for over 70 years.

When the Ventura and Wehrmeister families’ original building had to be demolished in order to make room for the I-94 freeway expansion, they contracted MSI General Corporation to help them design and build a new facility. Instead of a modest, castle-inspired building like the original design, the new structure would actually strive to replicate a Medieval façade.

MSI General sought out a concrete masonry unit from County Materials’ Castle Rock. The concrete block featured a split face cut stone look, and was the primary material used for the building. At the base of the building, a white split face veneer masonry unit was used to give the castle a sense of scale.

The original project was completed in 2011, and MSI was brought for a 21,042 square-foot addition. Effectively, this would double the size of the original castle. The anticipated completion date for the project was April 2017, with a Grand Re-Opening scheduled from May 25-30.

Words: Masonry Magazine
Photos: Kim Skadahl