Part of the Naperville Historic District, Oesterle Library is an iconic work of understated Midcentury design.
The library was built in 1954 designed by Gustave Orth of the Chicago firm Fugard, Burt, Wilkinson, and Orth, a firm well known for their work with educational institutions and their mid-century modern designs. Oesterle Library is a contributing piece of the Naperville Historic District, notable for its expansive use of yellow brick and metal architectural accents.
The library was originally a joint effort of North Central College and the Evangelical Theological Seminary, which was then located across School Street from North Central. After the seminary left Naperville in 1983 the library was renamed for College trustee, alumnus, and fundraiser Clare Oesterle and his wife Lucy.
As a result of routine updates to their facilities, North Central College replaced the original Midcentury picture windows on the front of the building. This change mandated a state mitigation plan.
Naperville Preservation, Inc., was part of the team with Illinois State Historic Preservation Office to design a mitigation plan and produce a win-win outcome for everyone involved. Through the process, Naperville Preservation gained a better appreciation for the architecture of North Central College and strengthened our organizational ties with the college.