Design in the Hills 2014 Restorations kicked off fittingly in Deadwood with walking tours of Mt. Moriah Cemetery (the burial place of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock and other well-known historic characters), the Mickelson Trailhead, and the planned future Powerhouse Park.
Kevin Kuchenbecker spoke to the group about the restoration of Deadwood through historic sites. The City of Deadwood, SD is a National Historic Landmark, and as such, all building and capital improvement projects must comply with the National Park Service Guidelines for historic buildings and places. Kevin shared several restoration projects of parks and structures that demonstrate collaboration of design professionals, innovative planning and methods of execution.
Carolyn Weber, archivist from Deadwood History Inc. gave the group tours of the Adams House and the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC). HARCC contains the nation’s largest collection of Black Hills records, with a vast archival and photographic collection. In addition, it houses the original construction document archives for all the historic Homestake Gold Mine structures. We were able to view the collections while discovering how to use this resource in the planning, restoration and design of new and historic sites and buildings.
Finishing out Thursday’s session, Mr. Kuckenbecker and planning and zoning director Bob Nelson Jr. introduced the future Powerhouse Park which will be constructed around the remains of a 1901 coal-fired power house that made electricity to power a trolley between Deadwood and Lead between the years of 1901 and 1911 when it was decommissioned. All that remained of the plant was it’s enormous foundation, a portion of the original smokestack, and piles of smokestack brick, all overgrown by vegetation. Thursday night’s mixer was hosted at the Deadwood Mountain Grand a gambling and concert venue housed in the former Homestake Slime Plant which was built to extract gold from slime, a by-product of crushed ore that is suspended in water.
Powerhouse Park was also the charrette topic for Friday. Teams collaborated to create a park concept that utilized and interpreted the historic powerhouse foundations, partial chimney, and original brink found on site. Some concepts proposed rebuilding a portion of the 130’ smokestack and a skeleton of the original powerhouse to help visitors visualize what it was like. Friday’s session also included a presentation from Ted Spencer, the director of the Historic Preservation office at the SD State Historical Society about the economic benefits of historic preservation.
The Design in the Hills committee was formed in 2011 by architects, Kris Bjerke and Tanya Davis and interior designer Maggie Job. Over the years, many new faces have trickled through the committee as leadership in the AIA South Dakota organization has evolved, however Kris has been the anchor to an event which has become a much-anticipated gathering of designers in the Black Hills each summer. The current committee includes Ms. Bjerke, architect and AIA SD board members, Jenn Johnson & Brian Johnson and landscape architect, Tanya Olson. AIA South Dakota executive director, Angela Lammers has been a tremendous supporter and advocate to the event success as well.