Welcome to Blueprint South Dakota

Welcome to Blueprint South Dakota, a blog created by architects in South Dakota to provide a forum for public conversations with citizens, city planners, developers, property owners, designers, public office holders and others. Through these conversations, we want to participate with the public and community leaders in the creation of vibrant, prosperous, beautiful and effective places to live, work and play in South Dakota. Please join us in conversing about design and planning issues in our state.


Expanding Preservation of the 1950-1970s

Liz Almlie, Historic Preservation Specialist, South Dakota State Historical Society One of the newer challenges of historic preservation is the preservation of resources from the mid-20th century.  One of the eligibility considerations for the National Register of Historic Places is the age of the resource.  Sites newer than fifty years need to meet special considerations …

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The Built Landscape of Suffrage History

Liz Almlie, Historic Preservation Specialist, SD State Historical Society South Dakota and the United States have recently marked big centennials of women’s suffrage.  A state constitutional amendment passed in November 1918 and the final ratification of the federal 19th Amendment took place in August 1920.  I was lucky enough to participate in several public history …

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Battle Mountain Sanitarium

By Sandra Lea Dickenson, AIA Emeritus Besides being an architect, I am also a military brat and a military wife and have spent most of my life crisscrossing this country.  With 170 Veterans Affairs hospitals out there, we would often come across them.  Usually they were hulking wedding cake style complexes, often on a hill …

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Brick Staining

(Content submitted by Stacy Watters, PE, South Dakota State Engineer) Isn’t it amazing that you can look at a brick building and narrow down the decade in which it was constructed based on the color of brick? I often find myself thinking, “well isn’t that a 1970’s gem!” or “that was definitely an early 2000 …

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Cities We Love: Aberdeen

by Spencer Sommers, CO-OP Architecture The third largest city in South Dakota is Aberdeen, located near the north state border.  Incorporated in 1881, Aberdeen was known as the “Hub City of the Dakotas” due to the four railroads that crossed there. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe line still runs through the city.  Aberdeen is home …

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South Dakota’s Earliest Listings in the National Register of Historic Places

Liz Almlie, Historic Preservation Specialist, SD State Historical Society Federal historic preservation work has had a 100+ year evolution with key pieces of legislation being the Antiquities Act in 1906 that created National Monuments, and the Historic Sites Act of 1935 that formalized the Historic American Buildings Survey and created National Historic Landmarks.  The legislation …

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No Detail Too Small: Historic Preservation at the University of South Dakota

(Sponsored content by Fiegen Construction) When it’s done well, historic preservation on college campuses is a perfect balance between where a university has been and where it’s going. Historic buildings are keepers of culture. They bring alumni back and future students coming in. That’s the challenge of historic preservation, then. Combining what’s classic and what’s …

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Tarnished Idols

Many people, maybe even most people, think Frank Lloyd Wright is the greatest American architect.  Certainly, he was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.” He is the best known and people come from all over the world to see his work.  Just two years ago, eight of his buildings were …

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AIA SD Firm Feature

TSP, Inc. Please provide an overview of your firm. TSP is a multidisciplinary architectural, engineering, planning, and interior design firm that exists to make our communities better, by design. Through teamwork, service, and passion, we listen and develop a deep understanding of each client’s “why.” We collaborate with them to build trust-based relationships and discover …

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AIA SD Firm Feature

ISG Please provide an overview of your firm. ISG is a team of 320+ motivated, energetic, and authentic architects, engineers, and design professionals who are driven to improve the communities in which we live. Relationships are at the core of our design philosophy, and we owe a lot to the relationships we have developed with …

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