Construction of the Door County Maritime Museum’s landmark Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower overlooking Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront has reached a new milestone with the selection of a nationally recognized firm as Exhibit General Contractor for the creation of exhibits for the Tower.

After a highly competitive bidding process that attracted firms from across the country, the Museum’s Board of Directors selected Southern Custom Exhibits (SCE) to lead the team working on the design, fabrication and installation of the exhibits that will bring the unique stories of Door County’s maritime heritage to life. Major partners of SCE for the DCMM project include Juliet Cutler (Interpretive Planner, Writer); Phillip Yonfa (iDesign LLC); Digital Design Services (Interactive Media, Video & Hardware Control System) and Sloan Bibb (Art Direction).

“Southern Custom Exhibits has an outstanding reputation and has been associated with world-class projects around the country, including multiple projects for the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Birmingham (AL) Civil Rights Institute and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, WI,” said DCMM Board President Terry Connelly. “We are excited to be in partnership with such a well-regarded and experienced company.”

The exhibit plan calls for a three-phase approach, with Phase one (floors One, Two, Seven and Ten) completed and installed by May 2021. The remaining phases will be completed by October 2021 and May 2022. The Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower will open to the public in May 2021.

The Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower will enable DCMM to better and more effectively showcase the important maritime culture and heritage of our community with a wider audience. Each state-of-the-art interactive exhibit will have a lasting impact. The new Lighthouse Tower will light the way for countless young people who will find inspiration to pursue careers in engineering, environmental sciences, and maritime technologies – all careers vital to Door County and throughout Wisconsin and the Great Lakes. By increasing year-round tourism, it will also become a significant economic stimulus that will generate more revenue and success for businesses throughout Door County and the region.

Southern Custom Exhibits:

Pushing the Boundaries of Design and Imagination to Create Memorable Museum Experiences

Located in Anniston, Alabama, Southern Custom Exhibits (SCE) has a team of dedicated professionals who work hard to create memorable museum experiences. The company was established in 1989 by Elvin Morrow and his son Greg Morrow, as a national firm with family values. The company’s motto has always been “treat others as you would like to be treated.” For that reason, the company has earned a strong reputation for friendly, dependable service and has never missed an exhibition opening deadline. The company rarely advertises its services. Rather, strong customer recommendations and “word of mouth” have created a steady stream of work for over 30 years.

SCE is proud to be a preferred contractor for the National Park Service and the United States Department of Agriculture. The company has worked on some of the country’s most famous sites such as Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Gettysburg National Battlefield, and Flight 93 National Memorial. The staff at SCE takes great pride in being an industry leader that produces high-quality, creative exhibits, and a small business with accessible project leaders and helpful, honest service. The company employs 25 full-time and seven part-time employees who offer complete design, fabrication, and installation services. SCE has built robust in-house capabilities in order to fully control the quality of the final product.

The SCE team is well-versed in working within a budget to make a customer’s vision become reality. The company’s goal is always to create a final product that is unique and the source of great pride for its clients. Pushing the boundaries of design and imagination is what SCE does best.

Door County Maritime Museum:
Where Great Lakes History Comes Alive!

The Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc. preserves Great Lakes maritime history, primarily focusing on Door County, Wisconsin, and provides interpretive and educational opportunities for current and future generations. The Museum operates three locations, including the Door County Maritime Museum along the working waterfront in Sturgeon Bay; the iconic Cana Island Lighthouse in Baileys Harbor; and the Death’s Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. As one of northeast Wisconsin’s top tourism destinations, attracting more than 70,000 visitors annually, the Door County Maritime Museum serves as a cultural and educational resource for all 72 counties in Wisconsin. For more information, please visit or call (920) 743-5958.