Best of Clay Masonry

Little Chute Windmill Visitor's Center

Project Description

The Little Chute Windmill, LLC raised funds to construct an authentic 1850’s Dutch Windmill and Visitor Center to celebrate the Dutch heritage of Little Chute, Wisconsin and the Fox Valley.                                                                                

Boldt was the general contractor for all work below the windmill stage and assisted two Dutch carpenters with the erection of the rest of the windmill from the stage up.  The upper windmill was constructed in the Netherlands by Lucas Verbij and shipped to Little Chute.


The windmill consists of nearly 2,300 sq. ft. of authentic Dutch construction, including a main floor, milling floor, stage surround and working windmill platforms. It stands approximately 100 feet tall from the ground to the top of the blades.  It is constructed with a concrete octagonal base and pilasters at each corner, with a brick veneer.  The interior of the mill is heavy timber construction, including 14 inches by 21 inches Douglas Fir beams.  The remainder of the mill is heavy timber construction inside the wood octagon with more than 17 different types of wood species. The exterior of the mill is authentic to the 1850’s, wood decking, heavy timber construction and cedar shingled exterior with painted wood trim. The stage is constructed of a steel support system with an ironwood deck. Cedar shingles adorn the facade of the mill with painted wood accents. The main blades have steel shafts with a wood lattice, consistent with windmills of the time. The speed of the mill is controlled by the addition or removal of wood shutters on the bottom of the blades, and also by the addition of a fabric sail that wraps the wood lattice on each blade. The 2,500 sq. ft. visitor center serves as a gathering area, gift shop and staff office and is also home to the Little Chute Historical Society. 

Visitor Center

The structure is approximately 2,500 sq. ft. construction consisted of a cast in place basement, masonry back up walls with brick veneer, wood truss roof with clay tile roofing.  When it came time to choose the exterior material, the owner and architect were looking for a material that would provide longevity, durability, low maintenance and fit in esthetically to the local Dutch community. Brick met all the criteria. An elevator goes from the basement, up a clock tower and exits on a precast bridge, which gains access to the windmill. The interior is wood studs, with gypsum wall board. Finishes include painting, tile floors, exposed wood beams and cabinetry. The structure is fully sprinkled along with mechanical, electrical and plumbing. 

Architect: McMahon Group

WMA Producer/Supplier: SPEC MIX