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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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De Pere Public Library, facade detail (T. Heggland photo)

De Pere Public Library, front elevation (T. Heggland photo)

De Pere Public Library, courtyard (T. Heggland photo)

De Pere Public Library, Chlidren's Room (T. Heggland photo)

De Pere Public Library
380 Main Avenue, De Pere, Brown County
Architect: Foeller, Schober & Berners
Date of Construction: 1937

The Great Depression of the 1930s was a period of enormous growth for public facilities due to federally funded work-relief programs. The De Pere Public Library was built through the assistance of the Public Works Administration, which aided the construction of public buildings such as schools, post offices and libraries.

Foeller, Schober & Berners, a regionally prominent firm out of Green Bay, designed the library in a Tudor Revival manner, commonly called "Cotswold Style." This style is typically used in residential buildings and therefore lends the building a domestic feel found in many small town public libraries. The library represents all of the characteristics of the Tudor Revival style. This is shown through a steeply sloped roof that has a cross-gable to accentuate the front fašade and main entrance. The entrance is recessed into an arched opening. Tudor Revival also includes the use of massive chimneys and tall, narrow windows with small panes. The slate-covered roof and locally quarried limestone used on the exterior of the building was a distinctive building practice in the Cotswold region of England.

The library also includes Classical Revival characteristics, a mix that was typical of 1930s period revival architecture. A classical denticulated entablature surmounts the entrance door and is topped with a semi-circular arched fanlight. The one story structure was originally designed in an L-plan but an additional wing was added to form a U-plan that encloses a central courtyard.

The building of the library played an important role as the first and only purpose-built home of the city┐s public library. Prior to this location the library was housed above the firehouse and served as a private facility for the Young Men┐s Reading Association until 1896. It is now located in the heart of the commercial development in downtown De Pere.

The library is still in operation today and is open during regular library hours.


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