AIA SD celebrates 2023 Champion of Architecture

Bernie Hunhoff, Jr.
Yankton, SD

The AIA South Dakota Champion of Architecture Award is given to both non-architects or companies that promote the practice of architecture that help improve the built environment in our state. The recipient of the award is selected by a committee of past presidents of the South Dakota AIA. 

This year’s Champion of Architecture is Bernie Hunhoff, Jr, Editor at Large of South Dakota Magazine. Bernie has probably visited every inch of this state and we all benefit from his boundless curiosity and his passion for South Dakota.

Bernie is a Yankton boy, growing up on the family farm and graduating from Mount Marty.  The Hunhoff name is sterling in Yankton.  His daughter helps run the magazine, his son works for the city.  His brother was sheriff for many years. A Democrat, Bernie served in both the state house of representatives and the state senate. He ran for governor against Bill Janklow in 1998.

Bernie Hunhoff, Jr. along with his wife, Myrna, founded South Dakota Magazine in Yankton SD in 1985.  Through a lot of hard work, the magazine now has a subscription list of over 40,000.  The Hunhoffs show a respect for history by making their office in the 1875 Pennington House, the home of John Pennington, territorial governor of South Dakota when Yankton was the territorial capitol.

In the process of telling the stories of South Dakota, he has also told the stories of the built environment of South Dakota. A story about classic cars will have the city of Deadwood in the background.  A photo of a rare comet will have a rural church in the foreground.  There are stories about the sandstone buildings in Hill City, the Dutch grist mill in Millbank and the 66 county courthouses.  Further, the magazine is beautiful, showing an attention to detail and a great design aesthetic that we can all appreciate.  He has stepped back from the day to day running of the magazine.  As editor at large, with his notebook and Nikon, he is still touring the back roads of South Dakota looking for a story.

Bernie Hunhoff says he’s come to believe that a “sense of place” is one of the great gifts a person can receive. “When you better understand the place you live, life becomes more interesting and more meaningful. You also understand the world as a whole when you know your own place.”

Award presented by Sandy Dickenson

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