Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Membership Drive Underway; Join the Movement!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Have YOU joined the movement yet?

Preserve South Dakota has just launched its summer 2012 membership drive! 

As a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, everything we do is supported by our members.  From our Places in Peril list and our Revolving Loan Fund to our advocacy work during legislative session in Pierre, we work hard every day to make sure South Dakota’s historic places are appreciated and preserved.

So how can you get involved? Download a copy of our Membership Form and mail it in today.  It’s that simple!  Your support will be added to that of other South Dakotans – from Custer to Yankton, from Aberdeen to Whitewood – to ensure that PSD can continue in its mission of historic preservation advocacy, education, and assistance.  And it’s not just South Dakotans who support our mission; we have members from across the country as well.

In return for your investment in PSD, you will receive:

  • The “Preservation Advocate” newsletter
  • Alerts on key preservation issues and activities
  • A voice in Congress and South Dakota state legislature with issues concerning preservation
  • Assistance with grants, low-interest loans, and restoration and renovation questions
  • Support for a strong preservation organization in your community
  • Most importantly, the knowledge that YOU are supporting historic preservation in South Dakota

What are you waiting for?  Join the movement!  Support PSD today!



Newell Building Added to Places in Peril List

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Reclamation State Bank, circa 1910

The Reclamation State Bank in Newell has been added to Preserve South Dakota’s Places in Peril list.  The building, which is currently used for storage, was constructed in 1909 as one of the town’s first buildings and moved to its present location in 1910.  According to Linda Velder of the Newell Museum, the building was used as a bank until 1944 and had several uses after that, including a variety of shops and a café.  It has been vacant for the last 15 years.  Newell is located in western South Dakota near Belle Fourche.

The Places in Peril list was created by Preserve South Dakota to raise awareness for endangered historic properties around the state.  Ideally, the awareness raised through press releases and social media updates helps connect funds, investors, and volunteers with the property in hopes that 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 been rehabilitated since their listing and are once again vibrant, productive assets in their communities. 

Nominations for the Places in Peril program are accepted year-round.  To nominate a property, download a Nomination Form, compile the necessary information, and send it to PSD for consideration.

The Places in Peril program is just one aspect of Preserve South Dakota’s work; everything we do is supported by our members.  To join the movement, send in a Membership Form today.  Raise your voice in support of South Dakota’s historic properties!

Restoration Work Complete; Jones Building For Sale!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Jones Building, Whitewood, South Dakota

The historic Jones Building in downtown Whitewood, South Dakota, is now for sale!  PSD has been stabilizing and restoring this building since 2009, and exterior stabilization and restoration work is now complete.  When we took ownership, the building had a massive hole in one side due to water damage and mortar failure. PSD didn’t want Whitewood to lose this beautiful sandstone building, and so we decided to step in and save it from demolition.  The building now has a new roof, the exterior is completely stabilized and tuckpointed, and the interior is cleaned out and ready for a new business to move in. 

Whitewood is located near Sturgis and Deadwood, and the Jones Building is an integral part of not just Whitewood’s history, but the history of the Black Hills. 

The Jones Building is listed with Black Hills-based agent Fred Ening.  Check out the listing here:

PSD is very grateful to the City of Deadwood and the South Dakota State Historical Society/State Historic Preservation Office for their financial assistance with this project; the grants offered by these two agencies made this project possible.



Friday, July 9th, 2010

Preserve South Dakota was recognized by the Whitewood Chamber of Commerce on January 6, 2011 with the 2010 Rejuvenation Award for our work on the Jones Building, located in downtown Whitewood.The hole in the Jones building is patched from the elements! Contractors began work last week and have made great progress. Check back often for more pics and progress updates.

The hole was filled with the original stone that had fallen off.

The wooden, problematic roof is gone and a brand new flat roof system has been installed.

PSD to Restore Whitewood Building

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The Jones Building in Whitewood, South Dakota built in 1908.

Practicing What We Preach – In a bold move, Preserve South Dakota has taken on an unprecedented project: to restore a historic building in Whitewood, SD. On August 7, 2009, PSD officially took ownership of the abandoned building. The city of Whitewood was planning to bulldoze the historic building as the previous owners had no interest in upkeep, taxes or safety. The building was deeded to PSD and we immediately insured the building and contacted a local contractor to begin stabilization work. The obvious problem is the big hole in the side of the building, parts of which are laying on someone else’s property. Emergency funds came from two Deadwood grants. One from Historic Deadwood, the other from the State Historic Preservation Office in Pierre’s Deadwood Grant Fund. In addition, a fundraiser was held in October of 2009 where almost $5,000 was raised by the good people of Whitewood through donations and an auction. In February of 2010, PSD learned that the local contractor was not able to complete the project. Following this news, bid documents were prepared and issued to invited bidders. SECO Construction of Rapid City was the successful low bidder in late May and began work on June 28, 2010.

PSD Board President, Mitch Aldinger of Architecture Incorporated out of Sioux Falls is spearheading the restoration work. Albertson Engineering, a structural engineer from Rapid City, has defined a host of issues needing immediate attention. Despite the gaping hole in the wall, the 1908 building is in desperate need of a new roof. A wooden framed pitched roof was added to the building at some point in time, causing water to run down the side of building, eroding mortar. The complete assessment of work needing to be done is extensive, but PSD plans to stabilize the building and fix the roof. Once the building’s exterior is sound, the building will be offered for sale, so the new owner can remodel the interior to suit their requirements. The building has its original tin ceiling and wood floor on the main level.

Your Help is Needed – If we were able to do the entire slate of repairs, costs would be in excess of $130,000. Presently, we do not have that much cash on hand. Subsequently, we’ve refined the priorities and have settled on a $90,000 restoration budget. In the past, we’ve only asked our constituent group for a modest membership offering. Now, we need much more support from those of you who have a passion for saving South Dakota’s treasures.

Click on the “Donate” button to the right, and enter in your donation. Preserve South Dakota is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, meaning your donation is tax deductible. Please help. Your donation of $100 or $10,000 will be commemorated in our newsletter and here on this website.

To learn more about PSD, click on the “Our Story” button above. We area a small group of preservationists who’ve been carrying the torch of advocacy since the 1970s. Thank you for your support!
Mitch Aldinger, Architecture Incorporated, Sioux Falls, PSD President
Scott Anderson, Minnehaha County, Sioux Falls, PSD Vice President
Lori Holmberg, Dakota Discovery Museum, Mitchell, PSD Treasurer
Troy McQuillen, McQuillen Creative Group, Aberdeen, PSD Secretary
Jacque Fuller, Lead Opera House, Lead, PSD Board
Mike Bender, Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Inc. Rapid City, PSD Board

For an update on the project read on.

HSC Adovacy Update

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Preserve South Dakota's Executive Director, Linda Kluthe, guides a tour on the HSC campus

It has been a year since 11 historic buildings on the Human Services Center campus in Yankton, South Dakota were placed on America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. To continue the public dialogue on the importance of these buildings and their potential for re-use, the Yankton County Historical Society, Preserve South Dakota, and National Trust hosted a public open house at the Mead Building on May 2 – the beginning of Preservation Month.

More than 500 people from Yankton and surrounding communities, including Nebraska, toured the Mead Building interior and learned of the threats facing the larger campus and promising re-use of the Mead Building as the new Dakota Territorial Museum. One hundred visitors were taken on walking tours of the historic campus. Attendees were asked how they thought the buildings should be re-used, offering many ideas like a convention center, community college, cultural center, and housing for seniors.

The Human Services Center Advocacy Coalition, a group of dedicated advocates led by the National Trust, meets on a monthly basis to devise tools, develop partnerships, and identify re-uses for the threatened buildings. Based on the open house event attendance, it is clear that the Yankton and surrounding communities believe that this place matters. The National Trust and its partners continue to fight for its protection. (Reprinted from “Mountain/Plains Preservation News” Vol. 8, No. 2)

Human Services Center Video Introduction

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Learn more about the Human Services Center in Yankton. These historic buildings were placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered for 2009.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Video created by McQuillen Creative Group, Aberdeen, SD © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

PSD Nominates Yankton’s HSC to the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered List

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2009) – The National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Human Services Center in Yankton, South Dakota, to its 2009 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places®.  This annual list highlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.


The oldest public institution in the state, the Human Services Center – formerly the South Dakota Hospital for the Insane – played an important role in South Dakota history.  It was here in the 1890’s that Dr. Leonard Mead implemented his groundbreaking idea of creating an environment that would be therapeutically beneficial for patients instead of the sterile, fear-provoking asylums of the day. As he added buildings to the campus in the former territorial capital of Yankton, it became more New England college than prairie hospital.  Surrounding a landscaped central park, the 65-acre campus, constructed between 1882 and 1942, featured neoclassical, Art Deco, Italianate, Prairie and Neo-Renaissance buildings, many constructed of South Dakota-quarried Sioux quartzite.  Each building had sun-drenched dayrooms with columns and attractive architectural features, like Carrara marble and granite staircases.  Today, more than 125 years after the institution was founded, the State is moving forward with plans to demolish many of the historic buildings on the Yankton campus.


“This is an unparalleled collection of buildings,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Dr. Mead’s vision of a beautiful, soul-nourishing environment doesn’t have to end just because the State of South Dakota wants to dispose of the Yankton campus.  Across the country, there are countless examples of architecturally significant, historic buildings being repurposed and given new life by developers.  This can be another success story.”

In 1899, a fire at the hospital took the lives of 17 patients. In the aftermath, Dr. Mead ensured that all subsequent buildings were rock-solid – constructed of stone, with foot-thick walls, clay tile roofing and concrete for fireproofing.  An amateur architect, Dr. Mead left his artistic mark in the wide porches, fan and Palladian windows, pedimented porticos, balustrades, bracketed eaves, arches, pillars, coffered ceilings and terrazzo floors that adorn the campus.


The collection of buildings on the Human Services Center (HSC) campus is both architecturally significant and representative of the style of treatment for the mentally ill between 1880 and 1940.  Many patients spent their entire lives at the hospital, and, as a result, the majority of the endangered buildings once served as patient wards.  The campus also includes barns and farm buildings where patients would engage in therapeutic activities such as growing vegetables.

In the 1990s, the State determined that the HSC’s historic buildings were no longer needed and constructed a new mental health facility on campus called the Mickelson Center.  Since that time, many historic buildings have been left vacant – without even utility service or routine maintenance.  Despite being neglected, the buildings have endured because of their solid construction.

In 2007, the South Dakota Joint Appropriations Committee voted to approve funds to begin demolition of selected historic buildings on the HSC campus, but budget constraints resulted in a temporary reprieve.  The continuing economic downturn prevented a similar appropriation in 2008, but a future ask will more than likely be made and could be approved.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and its partners have repeatedly offered to work with the State to identify interested developers.  While developers seem eager and at least one local bank has said it will finance and purchase tax credits, the State appears committed to demolishing the buildings.

The 2009 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places was made possible, in part, by a grant from History™.  Local preservation groups across the nation submitted nominations for this year’s list; the nomination for the Human Services Center was submitted by Preserve South Dakota.