MARINETTE — The Marinette Historic Preservation Commission explored the idea of wrapping utility boxes in the Riverside Avenue Historic District during its Monday meeting, tossing around the use of antique photos, artwork and Quick Response (QR) codes to turn the boxes into a feature of the district. 

The idea was brought to the commission by Ward 8 Alderman Jason Flatt, who resides in the Riverside Avenue Historic District. Flatt said the wrapped utility and transformer boxes were an opportunity for signage or decoration, and the smaller boxes would cost around $500 each to wrap. 

“You could either put some historical artwork as a wrap for this box, or you could create a sign out of the box with the vinyl wrap,” he said. “These boxes aren’t the really big ones at the major intersections but they’re still 5 feet tall, double-sided in that sense.” 

Flatt added that the cities of Green Bay and Appleton are working on wrapping their utility boxes, and that he had not explored designs or materials yet. Commission chairman Dr. Daniel Kallgren suggested the commission monitor discussion about utility box wraps and see if the city is looking for an entity to pioneer the idea. 

“I love that idea,” he said. “It would really be a neat way to sort of set off the historic district.” 

Commission member Jim LaMalfa said he would contact Lithocrafters Printing Inc. and discuss possible designs, materials and pricing. The commission took no action on the topic. 

In other business: 

¦ Kallgren announced to the commission that he and associate professor Keith West would be giving a presentation on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. on the UW-Green Bay Marinette Campus to celebrate the centennial of the Armistice which ended World War I. Kallgren and West will be speaking about the 32nd Red Arrow Division and the war itself in Room M-117 of the main campus building. The event is free and open to the public.