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25th anniversary of Cultural Heritage Center groundbreaking noted


CONTACT: Jeff Mammenga, Media Coordinator, (605) 773-6000, Jeff.Mammenga@state.sd.us


25th anniversary of Cultural Heritage Center groundbreaking noted


PIERRE, S.D. – May 1 marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, headquarters of the South Dakota State Historical Society.


More than 100 state officials, dignitaries, and guests attended the groundbreaking ceremonies on May 1, 1987, for the $6.5 million, 63,000-square-foot, Cultural Heritage Center. Construction of the facility began immediately after the formal ceremony.


“The groundbreaking for the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center was an important moment for the State Historical Society,” said Jay D. Vogt, current society director and a staff member since 1987. “It meant society offices were going to move out of cramped quarters in the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Building and shared space in the State Library and occupy state-of-the-art facilities. It also enabled the society to better care for archival records and museum artifacts as well as increased public awareness of the society’s work to collect and preserve South Dakota’s history. Today we continue to improve our effectiveness and grow our history activities throughout the state. The Cultural Heritage Center remains a superb headquarters for the State Historical Society.” 


The 1987 Legislature approved the facility, which was completed in time for the celebration of South Dakota’s 100th anniversary of statehood in 1989.


Dr. Thomas Kilian, president of the State Historical Society, gave an invocation, and the Riggs High School band provided music.


Speaking at the event, Gov. George S. Mickelson noted, “For the first time, the state Historical Society will be able to properly care for the irreplaceable collections that they have been responsible for,” adding that the project is an “unparalleled opportunity to really collect artifacts and the manuscripts and the historical records that will be part of the records of this center … this will really be the headquarters of our state’s cultural history.”


The architectural firm Holman Beck Associates of Sioux Falls designed the mostly underground building. Gray Construction of Watertown received the contract to build the multipurpose facility housing, at that time, the archives, museum, research & publishing and administrative offices of the State Historical Society. The historic preservation office was added in 1995.


Cutline information:  Among those present at the groundbreaking of the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre in May 1987 were, from left, Glen Hohenstein of Butter-Nut Coffee; Gerry Schneider of the Sioux Falls office of Ferguson Brokerage; Dr. Thomas Kilian, president of the South Dakota State Historical Society Endowment (now Foundation); Dr. James Hansen, secretary of the state Department of Education and Cultural Affairs; Mrs. Linda Mickelson; Gov. George S. Mickelson; State Senator Homer Harding of Pierre; and Charles Schroyer of Pierre, fundraising chairman.




The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. The State Historical Society is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.