History

Roots

John E. Somerville is born on November 12, 1910.  He graduated from Marinette High School and went on to study Architecture at the University of Illinois – Champagne Urbana campus where he graduated in 1933. After World War II, he returned to Green Bay to begin his career in architecture.

1946

Somerville, Inc. is established by John Somerville with three employees. The first office was located on the southwest corner of Walnut and Broadway, commission number 1 was for the Great Lakes Shoe Company of Oconto, WI, a factory designed, but never built.  The Ansul Chemical Company of Marinette, WI was the firm’s first major continuing client.

1954

Somerville, Inc. is hired to design the Nurses’ Residence building for Bellin Hospital.  This is Somerville project number 227 and the first project in a partnership that continues to the current day.

1955

The City of Green Bay commissioned Somerville to design City Stadium, later renamed Lambeau Field. Richard E. Gustafson, AIA was the Somerville staff Architect responsible for the stadium’s geometry and sightlines. It was built with 32,000 seats for the opening Packer game with the Bears on September 27, 1957.  The Packers were victorious and Somerville takes partial credit for the win.

1958

Brown County selected Somerville, Inc. to design the Veterans Memorial Arena.  Its prominent feat that was notable at that time was its 280 foot diameter Lamella steel dome.

1959

The firm constructed an office building at 1822 Riverside Drive. There were 23 employees at that time.

1980

Somerville is awarded its first of over 1,500 projects with Shopko.  Throughout the years since 1980, Somerville has designed their corporate office, distribution centers, prototype development and new stores, on top of completing hundreds of remodeling and expansion projects.

1981

Richard Griese, an MIT graduate and Architect employed by the firm since 1955, becomes President and John E. Somerville becomes Chairman of the Board.

1984

The Mill Division of Somerville, Inc. is established to serve industrial clients, primarily for in-plant structural, mechanical, electrical and process work of paper mills.

1987

The US Postal Service retained Somerville, Inc. to update the design of over 20 Midwestern post office buildings.

1989

Virtually all working drawings are produced using AutoCad software, and the drafting tables, lead holders, lettering guides, and electric erasers begin to disappear.

1992

Somerville, Inc. is awarded the design of the Oneida Casino.  This is the first of several major casinos owned by Native American Tribes that Somerville will design over the next 2 decades.

1997

John W. (Jack) Somerville, son of the founder and an Architect employed with the firm since 1969, becomes President of Somerville, Inc. and Richard Griese becomes Chairman Emeritus of the Board.

1998

Somerville, Inc. is awarded a $14 million academic building for the University of Wisconsin and a $25 million prison for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections; at the time the two largest active projects for the State of Wisconsin

1999

Somerville, Inc. is awarded the commission for a long range facility master plan for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  This award led to the firm being selected Architect/Engineer of choice for many of the Wisconsin Technical College campuses over the next decade.

2000

Somerville, Inc. begins the systematic razing of older campus buildings at Bellin Hospital and reorganizing the campus with a series of projects totaling in excess of $60 million in construction.

2001

Somerville, Inc. is selected by the Green Bay Packers to be a part of the design team for the renovation and modernization of Lambeau Field, rededicated in 2003.

2004

John E. Somerville passes away on October 2nd at the age of 93.

2007

Michael Kadow, an Architect employed with the firm since 1985, becomes President of Somerville, Inc. and Jack Somerville becomes Chairman Emeritus of the Board.

2007

Somerville, Inc. is awarded a $24 million Patient Tower for Riverview Hospital.

2008

Somerville Inc.’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan Trust (ESOP) buys the last remaining privately held shares of stock and becomes a 100% ESOP-owned firm.

2008

Somerville, Inc. is hired by Tetra Tech, a California-based environment firm, to design the building which will house the EPA-supervised contaminant clean-up process of the Fox River. The Fox River cleanup project is currently the largest sediment remediation project in the world. 

2009

Somerville, Inc. is providing design services for Waste Management’s alternative energy projects in Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Missouri. These projects, endorsed by the EPA, collect landfill-gas and turn them into a renewable source of energy that produces over 550 megawatts of electricity – equivalent to offset over 2.2 million tons of coal per year.

2010

Somerville, Inc. completes the first primary school in the nation to achieve LEED Gold Certification under the LEED for Schools rating system for the Shawano School District.  The school incorporates numerous sustainable features including a geothermal heating and cooling system.

2012

Somerville, Inc. is awarded the design of a new private high school in Miami, Florida, cementing our position as a thought leader in the religious education market.