301, 305 Main Avenue (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
371 Main Avenue (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
355 Main Avenue (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
Main Avenue Historic District
301-377 (odd only) Main Avenue, De Pere, Brown County
Dates of construction of contributing buildings: 1883-1950
The city of De Pere is situated on both the east and west sides of the Fox River. Catholic priests first settled this location as early as 1670, but the city of today got its start in 1835 when a dam was built across the river at this point, creating waterpower for industry. Little was built here, though, until 1851, when a bridge was built across the dam, linking the two sides of the river. Once the bridge was in place, commercial districts quickly evolved at both ends of the bridge.
The Main Avenue Historic District contains the most intact concentration of nineteenth and twentieth century commercial buildings on the west side of the river. The district consists of eighteen buildings, all of which face north onto the 300 block of the highly important thoroughfare known as Main Avenue. Most were built between 1883 and 1950 as masonry clad replacements for earlier buildings on the same sites. These buildings range from one to two stories in height, and all but one is faced with brick. In addition to the older Commercial Vernacular form, Queen Anne style, and Twentieth Century Commercial style buildings that make up the bulk of the districtís resources, the district also includes a fine Neoclassical Revival style former Bank of West De Pere, located at 371 Main Avenue.