Old Third Ward Neighborhood - Early Expansion Plans
The following information about the history of the Old Third Ward Neighborhood Association was taken from Association documents and correspondence, newspaper articles, and Outagamie County documents and correspondence. For a particularly concise history of the Old Third Ward, see the application for Midwest Living® Magazine's Hometown Pride Award, which was submitted in 1997. The Association received the award in 1998.

In June of 1970 the Appleton Post-Crescent reported a joint recommendation from the Outagamie County Health and Public Property Committees had been made to purchase property at 324 W. Sixth St. (no. 2, below) for use as a juvenile receiving home by the county Social Services Department. Purchase cost was put at $18,500 with another $10,000 estimated for remodeling and equipping to meet state standards. The recommendation was approved the following week. This plan was abandoned later that year when property was purchased by the County on the northwest corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. That building was then earmarked for the new location of the juvenile receiving home.

The map below contains homes still in existence in the effected area (black icons.)
Homes that are no longer there and are mentioned on this page are in gray.

In August, 1970 the County's Safety Building Committee hired a real estate firm to seek options on properties near the courthouse for surface parking. The Board Chairman stated that the first purchase, a lot on the southwest corner of Walnut and Sixth streets "should create an atmosphere in the neighborhood that the county is sincere in its efforts to get the safety building [justice center] project moving."
The first order of business was the razing of the home on the corner of Walnut and Sixth for the initial parking lot.

The September 4, 1970 issue of the Appleton Post Crescent reported the County's Special Building Committee approved the purchase of six lots, including five homes, fronting Fifth, Sixth and Walnut streets for a surface parking lot for about 125 cars. The homes targeted for demolition were 506 S. Walnut St. (no. 5 above. This home also had an address on Sixth St., 429 W. Sixth) 507 S. Walnut St. (no. 4,) and 512 Walnut St. (no. 7,) 514 W. Fifth St. (no. 8,) and 421 W. Sixth St.( no. 6.) The article also stated that a proposal to use a large section of the courthouse lawn as a parking lot drew "heavy fire."

The plan was to obtain enough land south of the courthouse to provide parking for 300 cars.
Two of the lots purchased by the County were part of the Elmer O'Keefe estate (no. 4,) and two were owned by Larry Konz. The other two lots were owned John R. Vanden Heuvel and Harold Froelich.

On September 25th the paper stated the Board's Special Building Committee instructed architects to seek city approval for design plans for the space on the southwest corner of Sixth and Walnut streets. At the same time, the committee approved purchase of the property at 515 S. Walnut St. (no. 9) which, when acquired, "would give the county all of the property fronting on Walnut between Fifth and Sixth streets."
Proposals were to retain the property at the corner of Fifth and Walnut for a juvenile receiving home and the house at 515 S. Walnut St.(no. 9) for either a halfway house or community guidance center. The remaining property on Walnut plus a piece of property on Fifth adjacent to the planned juvenile receiving home would be developed for parking.

By the end of 1970 the Outagamie County Administrator made the statement that the County would no longer be purchasing any property east of the courthouse, but would be concentrating on the blocks south.

On March 20, 1971 an article in the Post Crescent confirmed the move of the County's juvenile receiving center to the now County-owned property on S. Walnut St. At the same time the former Konrad property at 324 W. Sixth St.(no. 2,) which the County had initially purchased for the guidance center would now be slated to be demolished for county parking expansion. This time neighborhood residents spoke out. People living near the property were quoted in the paper: "Why can't you leave us alone?" "Why disrupt the entire neighborhood? Consolidate parking in one area." "You can condemn other land. Why disrupt our property?" One person asked Committee members if they would like to live across from a parking lot. Another stated the County did not need more parking.

The August 19, 1971 reported the Outagamie County Board's Special Building Committee "last week closed a deal for property at 515 W. Sixth St. for $20,000. The house will be vacated by Oct. 1, as was reported Wednesday. The committee authorized removal of the house and the one nearby that was purchased previously. Both properties will be used for parking area." This home on Sixth St. was moved to 516 S. State St. in short order.

On August 19, 1976 the Post Crescent reported that the county approached the city about jointly developing the 300 block of S. Walnut between the courthouse and city police station for parking. The same idea had been proposed in 1969 but had been withdrawn because of the cost and objections from residents. There was one house on the block, 314 S. Walnut ( no. 1,) that had been offered for sale to the county. The County Board Chairman suggested coming up with a program for purchasing the property on that block as it became available for more surface parking. He suggested that this would be a perfect area to develop as parking and would eliminate the need for a parking lot on the west side of Walnut St. between Fifth and Sixth.

Back to Old Third Ward Neighborhood Association History.