Date of Construction: 1937; 1963.
Architectural Style: Tudor Revival.
The old De Pere Public Library was built with financial assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), which was a New Deal program that provided funding for new public buildings. The total cost of the library was $33,000, with the PWA covering 55% of the cost, and the City of De Pere funding the remaining 45%.
Foeller, Schober & Berners, a regionally prominent firm out of Green Bay, designed the library. The building was overseen by general contractor Sam D. Clark of De Pere. Planning for the new library commenced in late 1934, construction started in 1935, and it opened to the public on January 25, 1937. It was the first purpose-built library building in the city.
A new children’s room wing was added in 1963 using the same materials as the original building. This also enabled the creation of a courtyard. The original children’s room became another reading room.
In 1968, the De Pere library was incorporated into the newly established Brown County Library System. The 1937 library closed in 2003, after the new Kress Family Branch Library opened on Broadway Street on the east side of the Fox River.
Today the building houses Strategic Finance Group —a team of financial advisors affiliated with Ameriprise Financial Group.
Library service in De Pere began in 1878 when a library was established in the Congregational Church by Rev. E. P. Salmon. In 1889, a public library board was organized to oversee Rev. Salmon’s collection. The City acquired the collection in 1896 and, that same year, opened a library above the East Side Fire House (no longer extant) on Broadway, just north of the Union Hotel. The collection was moved in 1900 to the second story of the West Side Fire House (no longer existent) at 111-113 S. Fourth St., where it remained until the new library opened in 1937.
De Pere, Wisconsin 54115
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