Our Partners


The selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is deliberate. The De Pere Cultural Board/Mulva Cultural Center Board sought the engagement of one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering and urban planning firms in the world.

Since its founding in Chicago in 1936, SOM has completed more than 10,000 projects in over 50 countries. Renowned for iconic buildings and a commitment to design excellence, innovation and sustainability, SOM has created cultural experiences such as the Main Public Library at the Long Beach (Calif.) Civic Center and the Al Ahmadi Cultural Center in Kuwait. The firm also was entrusted with large-scale projects such as the Smithsonian National Museum of American History renovation in Washington, D.C., and master planning for Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. And several of the world’s tallest and most recognizable skyscrapers were designed by SOM, including Burj Khalifa in Dubai, One World Trade Center in New York City, and Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly the John Hancock Center) in Chicago.

With its design of the Mulva Cultural Center, SOM is creating a space that fits the historic charm of De Pere and contemporary influence of the nearly century-old Claude Allouez Bridge, which was rebuilt and expanded a decade ago.

City of De Pere

Led by former Mayor Mike Walsh and current Mayor James Boyd, the City of De Pere is a key partner in the planning and development of the Mulva Cultural Center. A number of years in the making, the city, including the De Pere City Council, supported the vision of the cultural center through the contribution of the one block site.

In June 2018, the City of De Pere released a study of the east side of De Pere’s downtown. The study outlines options for advancing the area into an arts and cultural district and calls for a combination of public spaces, community art, restaurants, shops and residential experiences that engage with the riverfront and are conducive to the historic nature of De Pere. City Council members endorsed the plan, conducted by Smith Group JJR following a national search for consultants, at their July 17 City Council meeting after a three-week period of soliciting more citizen feedback.

“As a city, we have always been incredibly proud of our rich history and traditions while also endlessly striving to build a vibrant and forward-thinking future. The Mulva Cultural Center embodies that spirit. We look forward to this world-class addition, and we are grateful for this significant opportunity to enrich and grow our community,” former De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh says.

The Mulva Cultural Center seeks to help the City of De Pere realize the fullest intent of an arts and cultural district that links people, places and memorable experiences for decades to come.