Architect, Material, or Labor? A history of architecture in Sioux Falls.

As the town of Sioux Falls was built, South Dakota’s attitude towards architecture was grand, yet utilitarian. Sioux Falls Architecture is characterized by the Richardsonian Romanesque style by late nineteenth century architect, Wallace Dow. Being involved the politics of the Dakota Territory lead to Dow’s success, and he is given much credit to Sioux Falls’s history. However, the politicians, the local building materials, the stonecutters and prison labor had as much influence on Sioux Falls and its architecture than one single architect.

The first penitentiary in Sioux Falls of the Dakota Territory had a major impact on how Sioux Falls grew economically and aesthetically. Penal labor and manufacturing provided cheaper, necessary assistance and low cost goods to regional customers trying to stay afloat in the harsh economy of the Dakota Territory.

The full text of this paper is below.

Sandra Callies, AIA, NCARB is a licensed architect working in the State of Washington at Ron Wright & Associates/Architects. Having lived in both Sioux Falls and Spearfish, she is passionate about South Dakota’s incredible geological landscapes. Sandra enjoys being outdoors and running half marathon races. She received her M.Arch from the University of Minnesota in 2015 and is an active urban sketcher with watercolors.

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