Date of Construction: 1883, with clock tower addition in 1907 and vestibule addition in 1983-84.
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival.
St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church was constructed in 1883 to accommodate the rapidly growing Dutch population in De Pere. A reference in De Pere News at the time of construction suggests that the architect was Hermann Roffers, who the paper noted “studied architecture in Holland and Belgium.” The first pastor was Rev. A. M. Smitz. Sermons were originally given in English and Dutch. As of the early 20th century, the parish consisted of about 240 families.
In 1996, parishioners of St. Boniface and St. Joseph’s merged to form Our Lady of Lourdes congregation that ultimately built a new church that opened in 1999. That same year, St. Boniface Church was sold to St. Norbert College. In August 1999, St. Norbert College reopened the St. Boniface Church building as a bookstore and coffee shop, which received an award from the Main Street Program for Best Adaptive Reuse.
In 2013, St. Norbert College completed a $1.7 million renovation that converted the building into a performance space, particularly for music performances. This included adding acoustic materials to provide state-of-the-art sound quality. The building was renamed Dudley Birder Hall in honor of Prof. Dudley Birder, who was a St. Norbert College music professor from 1958 – 1993 and director of the Dudley Birder Chorale from 1974 – 2018.
The old St. Boniface Church/Dudley Birder Hall is still owned by St. Norbert College, and continues to operate as a performance arts center. It is used primarily for recitals, chamber concerts, Dudley Birder Chorale rehearsals, and public lectures. It holds about 200 seats.
St. Boniface Church opened a grade school in 1892. By the early 20th century, the school, which was run by nuns of the St. Francis Order, had over 250 students. A new school was completed at 405 Grant Street in 1958; the building now serves as the Facilities Services Center for St. Norbert College. The former rectory and convent of St. Boniface remain standing at 406 and 419 Grant Street and are also owned by St. Norbert.
De Pere, Wisconsin 54115
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Sorry, unable to load the Maps API.