Kohler Co. plans wedding chapel overlooking Lake Michigan

Company targeting spring 2020 completion

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 12:01 pm

The hospitality business of Kohler Co. is planning to build a chapel on a 150-acre site overlooking Lake Michigan just north of Sheboygan to host weddings and other gatherings.

The Straits Chapel would be located north of Playbird Road in the Town of Mosel and would offer seating for up to 150 people. The company hopes to break ground this spring with a targeted completion date in spring 2020.

“We anticipate the Straits Chapel to be a welcome site for those who seek an intimate space to host weddings, family celebrations or other special group events in a tranquil setting with breathtaking views,” Christine Loose, vice president lodging and wellness for Kohler Co., said in a statement. “The Straits Chapel responds to existing guest demand, as many of the Destination Kohler wedding venues book up years in advance.”

Wedding space at The American Club and Whistling Straits are booked for two years, according to project documents submitted to the state.

Kohler originally bought the property in 2008 but did not have plans for developing it. The company eventually started developing project ideas with a focus on the property’s natural beauty and proximity to Lake Michigan.

“Great care has been taken to develop a design that frames the lake view from within the nave of the Chapel,” the documents say. “Large windows are planned for the east side of the building to reveal this natural wonder. In addition, windows have been placed on the north and south side of the nave to experience the trees and context of the landscape. It is desired to tread gently on this landscape and to feel as if this building and drive has been there for years, nestled in the woods.”

The company is currently seeking state and federal wetland and waterway approvals for the project. The chapel itself is not located in wetlands but the driveway leading to it would cross two wetlands, disturbing around 5,500 square feet of wetlands.

An alternative routing for the driveway could potentially reduce the wetland impact by going through a farm field instead of a woodland area.

“This alternative does not create the experience that Destination Kohler desires, as it would not utilize the feeling of driving through the unique woodland that reveals the chapel and Lake Michigan views,” the documents say, noting it would also require significantly more tree removal compared to the preferred option.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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