Concordia College, founded in 1881, was at one time a preparatory school for Lutheran (Missouri Synod) ministers. In 1881, the College purchased land, between 31st and 33rd Streets and State Street to Cedar St. (now Kilbourn Ave.), and began building a campus. After Concordia relocated to Mequon in 1983, the Forest County Potawatomi (FCP) took the 11-acre campus into trust and in 1990 leased the buildings to the Indian Community School for 20 years. The FCP took back control of the property in early 2011 and is in the midst of a planned $90 million redevelopment of the campus that will continue over several years. Since several Potawatomi villages were located in the Concordia area before the 1830s, as the current campus is being transformed, FCP honored it with a new name – the Wgema Campus.
The Wgechda Building is composed of two adjoining historic buildings from the days of Concordia College – Albrecht Hall and Rincker Library. Albrecht Hall is the oldest surviving building on the campus. Completed in 1901 and designed by architect Eugene R. Liebert, its Beaux-Arts architectural style is unique among Milwaukee’s historic academic buildings. The other remaining historic buildings on the campus are mostly Collegiate Gothic in design. Albrecht Hall’s original exterior cladding remains mostly intact and unchanged since 1901.
The Rincker Library, which connects Albrecht Hall to the east through a two-story connector building, originally served as Concordia’s main library. Similar to Albrecht Hall, its classical-inspired masonry facades are mostly intact. Inside, its double-height library space and top-floor classrooms also remain generally intact.
After an extensive renovation was completed in 2017, the Wgechda building now houses the FCP Tribal Courts and other office space.