The Building for Kids, originally called the Fox Cities Children’s Museum, opened its doors for the first time on November 2, 1992. The museum was founded by two local businesswomen and mothers, Paula Meyer and Rochelle Lamm, who wanted to find a way to revitalize downtown Appleton and provide children and their families with a place to learn through play. Through the work of numerous volunteers, partner organizations, and early supporters, the museum aimed to achieve its original mission of enriching the lives of children.

Located in the heart of downtown Appleton, the museum occupied only a section of what is currently our second floor. Early exhibits included a fire truck from Pierce Manufacturing and a crane from the Boldt Company, versions of which can still be found in the museum today. Visitors from the museum’s first year might also remember Science Spectrum, Grandma’s Attic, Creation Station, Kids’ Care Clinic, and many more exhibits that local sponsors helped build and bring to life. Within the first ten weeks of opening, the museum saw over 50,000 visitors.

Founding Board of Directors

Check out an interview with our founders, Paula Meyer and Rochelle Lamm, by clicking the link below!

Interview with the Founders

Our Sponsors