Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Save the Federal Historic Tax Credit!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Elks Building, Rapid City

The Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is a major player in the field of historic preservation. This credit offers historic building owners a 20% tax credit on the certified expenditures of their rehabilitation project. The impact of this program, both nationwide and here in South Dakota, is immense.  Nationally, the program creates millions of jobs related to building rehabilitation; generates billions (yes, billions with a “B”) of dollars of investment in our existing building stock; and saves our existing buildings instead of sending them to the landfill. In South Dakota, the Federal Historic Tax Credit is used by property owners throughout the state and generates hundreds of thousands of dollars of private investment in our historic buildings each year.  Buildings in the Mount Rushmore State that have utilized this program include the Elks Building in Rapid City; the Black Hills & Fort Pierre Roundhouse in Lead; the Maxwell Building in Sioux Falls; and the Treasury Inn in Pierre.

According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “Tax reform is forcing an examination of all government expenditures and sources of revenue, including tax expenditures such as tax credits and deductions. Members of Congress have proposed eliminating the HTC and other tax preferences to balance the budget.” However, the HTC program brings about significant, measurable investment in our historic building stock and pays for itself by generating new tax revenue.  To learn how you can protect this vital program that saves our architectural heritage, check out the National Trust’s Advocacy Center.  Contact your Senators, and sign the National Trust’s Historic Tax Credit Pledge to voice your support for this important program!

Kids’ Archaeology Camp a Success

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Preserve South Dakota recently participated in the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office’s first archaeology camp geared towards fourth- and fifth-grade students.  Twenty children attended the camp, which was held at the site of old Fort Galpin near modern-day Fort Pierre.  During the camp, the kids spent three days excavating the site and found such artifacts as beads, glass, nails, bone fragments, and shell casings.  They learned how to dig properly, how to screen the dirt to look for artifacts, and how to record their finds.  Their work was the first on the site; event organizers hoped to have additional archaeologists on site after the camp to continue the dig.

Archaeology Camp 2013. The kids show off one of the pits excavated during camp.

Archaeology Camp 2013. The kids show off one of the pits excavated during camp.

When the kids weren’t busy digging, they had a full schedule which included visits to Fort Pierre Chouteau and the turtle effigy north of Pierre and a lecture on native plants.  They were also able to try their hands at making pottery and flint knapping, or making tools from stone.   Preserve South Dakota was excited to participate in this event because kids love to learn about history by tackling hands-on projects.  This archaeology camp was a great way to introduce kids not just to the history of Fort Galpin and the Missouri River’s importance to this area, but also to show kids how we can learn from the past through archaeology.  Our hats are off to these “junior archaeologists” and the team at the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office for a job well done!

“Art of Place” Raises Awareness for Historic Places

Monday, May 20th, 2013
Photo Walk in Downtown Pierre

Photo Walk in Downtown Pierre

History lovers and art enthusiasts alike enjoyed “The Art of Place” event held May 18 in Pierre.  Preserve South Dakota partnered with the South Dakota State Historical Society and the Pierre/Fort Pierre Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to present a full day of history- and art-themed sessions aimed at raising awareness for the wonderful historic resources in the capital area.  Among the day’s sessions were a sketching session from the Verendrye Mounument in Fort Pierre; a photo walk of downtown Pierre; a guided tour of Riverside Cemetery; and a presentation on historic properties by the HPC.  Throughout the day, the headquarters at the Pierre Area Senior Citizens Center was open to the public and offered several opportunities to try a variety of art techniques.

Cemetery Tour

Tour of Riverside Cemetery

But the event isn’t done yet!  The public is invited to display original works of art that celebrate the capital area’s historic places at Oahe Days, June 22 and 23.  The art show will continue to raise awareness and support for the wonderful resources in the Pierre area.  Submissions may be any medium (photography, painting, drawing, etc.) but should focus on historic resources in Pierre or Fort Pierre.  To register for the Oahe Days art show, download the Registration Form.  Registration is free!  Help us show off Pierre and Fort Pierre’s great historic treasures at Oahe Days, June 22 and 23!

Leola High School Added to Places in Peril List

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Leola High School has been named a Place in Peril by Preserve South Dakota.

The Leola High School has been added to Preserve South Dakota’s Places in Peril list.  The building, which currently serves as the community’s high school, was completed in 1931 and is one of the few older brick buildings in Leola.  The two-story school is in good condition but is scheduled to be demolished this summer to allow construction of a new building.

Older schools are often demolished for reasons including accessibility or maintenance issues.  However, many older buildings can be made safe and accessible through creative rehabilitation work, which will allow continued use as a school or provide for a new use.  Rehabilitation work often has a comparable cost to demolition and new construction.  Additionally, the preservation of historic buildings is better for the environment as it keeps demolition debris out of landfills, and historic buildings nurture a town’s unique sense of place.

A number of older schools in South Dakota have been successfully rehabilitated for continued use as schools or reused for new purposes once their lives as school buildings have ended.  The former Washington High School in Sioux Falls is now the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science; the former Lead Central School and the former Yankton High School have been reused as housing; and the former Aberdeen Central High School is now the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center.

The Places in Peril list was created by Preserve South Dakota to raise awareness for endangered historic properties around the state.  Awareness typically helps connect funds, investors, and volunteers with the property in hopes it may be saved.  Since 1998, more than 50 properties have been added to the Places in Peril list.  Some, like the Railroad Roundhouse in Lead and the School for the Blind in Gary, have since been rehabilitated and are once again contributing to their communities’ economic development and sense of place.

For more information on our Places in Peril and how you can raise your voice in support of the Leola High School, check out the Places in Peril section of our website.

Register Now for THE ART OF PLACE!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Preserve South Dakota is excited to announce an art and history event to be held in May and June in the Pierre area.  The Art of Place will combine art and history in a unique effort to showcase the many historic resources in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area through artwork.  Participants will attend a one-day kickoff event on May 18 and enjoy a variety of art- and history-related sessions, such as a cemetery tour, a sketching session at the Verendrye Monument, and a photography walking tour.  From May 18 to June 20, participants will work independently to create works of art that celebrate historic places in the area.  Artwork will be shown at an exhibition at Pierre’s Oahe Days festival on June 22 and 23. 

For more information and full details, download the Schedule of Events.  To register, download the Registration Form and submit it by May 18.

Also participating in this event are the South Dakota State Historical Society/State Historic Preservation Office; Pierre/Ft. Pierre Historic Preservation Commission; Canvasbacks Art Club; Short Grass Arts Council; and the Central South Dakota Photography Club.

Mark your calendar!  This will be a great event celebrating both historic places and new interpretations of those places.  You don’t want to miss it!  See you there!


Advocacy Update for 2013 Legislative Session

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Advocacy Day at the South Dakota Capitol

It’s that time of year again, when our state senators and representatives make their way to Pierre for the official business of the legislature.  With the State Historic Preservation Office’s new report, “Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in South Dakota,” soon to be released, now is a great time to build momentum and support among our legislators.  In 2013, PSD wants to raise awareness for several issues. 

  • Issue #1: Battle Mountain Sanitarium, Hot Springs. The Veterans Administration (VA) is proposing to close the Battle Mountain Sanitarium/Hot Springs VA and relocate the services to other locations yet to be determined. Closure of the facility may ultimately result in its abandonment and/or demolition. The Battle Mountain Sanitarium is one of South Dakota’s 16 National Historic Landmarks, and the services offered at the facility are vital to veterans in the Black Hills and surrounding areas.  Preserve South Dakota urges our supporters to contact our Congressional delegation to voice your support for keeping the Hot Springs VA services within the Battle Mountain Sanitarium.
  • Issue #2: Human Services Center, Yankton.  Good things are happening at the Human Services Center in Yankton – specifically, the lease and rehabilitation of the Mead Building by the Yankton County Historical Society for use as the Dakota Territorial Museum. This is great progress, and Preserve South Dakota encourages the State to consider more lease and rehabilitation projects such as this. However, Governor Daugaard has outlined a budget that includes $6 million to restore, weatherize, or demolish buildings at the HSC campus. PSD supports restoration and weatherization projects while urging the State to find alternatives to demolition. The HSC Advocacy Coalition recently published two case studies of similar facilities that have been renovated for new and continuing use. Read the case studies of the Eisenhower VA Medical Center Case Study – Kansas and the Willmar Campus Case Study – Minnesota to see how the HSC campus in Yankton can find new life and continue to have a positive impact on the City of Yankton.
  • Issue #3: Blood Run National Historic Landmark.  South Dakota’s Department of Game, Fish, and Parks is working on a master plan to develop the Blood Run National Historic Landmark in southeastern South Dakota into a state park. Such a park would protect the irreplaceable archaeological resources and Native American history at this site from development pressures from neighboring Sioux Falls. Governor Daugaard’s budget proposes funding for the creation of Blood Run State Park, and PSD supports this measure. 

For more information, click here for a PDF of the information we want to disseminate during 2013 Session.

Winter 2013 Newsletter Now Available

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

The Winter 2013 issue of Preservation Advocate is hot off the press!  As legislature is now in session, this edition is largely devoted to historic preservation-related issues that may come into play during session: the Human Services Center in Yankton; the Blood Run National Historic Landmark near Sioux Falls; and the Battle Mountain Sanitarium in Hot Springs.  You’ll also read the latest news from the PSD office and find out why we decorated a Christmas tree at the Capitol in 2012. To download a PDF version of the newsletter, click here.

Preservation Advocate is mailed to our members and friends as a way to share the stories of successful preservation work all over South Dakota.  If you’d like to become a member, check out the “Support PSD” tab at the top of the page.  Everything we do is supported by our members, and there’s no more important time to show your support than during legislature.  Thanks for giving generously to the cause of historic preservation advocacy, education, and assistance in South Dakota!

PSD Participates in Christmas at the Capitol

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Preserve South Dakota is excited to participate in Pierre’s annual Christmas at the Capitol celebration this year.  The event, which was established by Governor Janklow in 1980, sees the entire State Capitol filled to bursting with Christmas trees decked out in their holiday finery to celebrate the holiday season.  Local and statewide organizations, agencies, and corporations are selected each year to decorate the trees.  Tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Capitol between Thanksgiving and Christmas to see the remarkable display.  This is the first year that PSD has been invited to participate.

PSD decorated its tree to showcase several of South Dakota’s historic treasures, choosing one barn, one church, one house, one school, and one downtown scene as representative of the architectural heritage that PSD works to preserve.  Photographs of these historic buildings were made into ornaments and paired with more traditional ornaments, ribbons, and lights to create a distinctive display.  Check out the photos of the historic buildings on our Facebook page and see if you can identify them! 

PSD wishes to thank the South Dakota State Historical Society, in particular the State Archives and the State Historic Preservation Office, for their assistance in selecting historic photographs. The photograph ornaments truly created a lovely and unique Christmas tree!

For more information on Christmas at the Capitol, click here for the official website.



Fall 2012 Newsletter Now Available

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Fall 2012 issue of Preservation Advocate is hot off the press!  In this issue, you’ll find stories of great preservation work from around the state, including the Jones Building project in Whitewood; the School for the Blind/Buffalo Ridge Resort in Gary; and the State Theatre in Sioux Falls.  You’ll also read the latest news from the PSD office, learn about the newest listing to our Places in Peril list, and find out why PSD was awarded a Rejuvenation Award. To download a PDF version of the newsletter, click here.

Preservation Advocate is mailed to our members and friends as a way to share the stories of successful preservation work all over South Dakota.  If you’d like to become a member, check out the “Support PSD” tab at the top of the page.  Everything we do is supported by our members!  Thanks for giving generously to the cause of historic preservation advocacy, education, and awareness in South Dakota!

Why Do You Support Preservation?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Supporters of historic preservation may have first been intrigued by the loss of something personal to them: their old elementary school, the church in the center of town, the commercial building that anchored the downtown for a century.  They object to the loss of the building, and so they join the movement to save it.  But, strangely enough, that modest beginning is often an introduction to the larger world of historic preservation, where they learn the truth: it’s not just about one building.  People may become interested in historic preservation because of one building, but they soon learn that preservation is about so much more than that; it’s about economic development, quality of life, community improvement, hometown pride, heritage tourism, and the ultimate in the green movement (reuse that existing building instead of sending it, piece by piece, to the landfill!).  Yes, historic preservation is rewarding for old-building lovers, but the movement as a whole encompasses so much more than old buildings. 

What about you?  Why do you support historic preservation?  Post your best answers on our Facebook page, and while you’re there you can connect with other like-minded folks around the state.  It’s our platform for connecting old building enthusiasts, history buffs, economic development supporters, and anyone who recognizes all the good that comes from saving just one old building.  Join us!