The 2022 Champion of Architecture Award was given to Jay Vogt, who served two roles as Director of the State Historical Society and South Dakota State Historic Preservation Officer. The award was presented at the recent South Dakota American Institute of Architects state convention in Sioux Falls, SD.
The award is given to non-architects or companies that promote the practice of architecture and help improve the built environment in the state. The recipient of the award is selected by a committee of past presidents of the South Dakota AIA. The committee was impressed by his commitment to preserving the history of South Dakota and, especially, the historic buildings found in communities big and small.
Vogt is originally from Mitchell SD. He is a graduate of Augustana University with a degree in political science. All of his 42 years of service to the State of South Dakota have been in Pierre.
Vogt began as a state employee first in the State Auditor’s Office and then as deputy in the Secretary of State’s Office. After 8 years in politics, he moved to the State Historical Society in 1987, initially serving as executive assistant to the director. Along the way he served 15 years as executive director of the South Dakota Heritage Fund (now South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, the society’s nonprofit fund-raising partner). For 24 years he served as the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Officer simultaneously serving four years as deputy director of the Historical Society and the last 17 years as director.
As Preservation Officer, He helped to implement the Deadwood Fund, making monies available for historic preservation outside of Deadwood. He worked with his counterpart in Nebraska to save the Meridian Bridge in Yankton and many, many more. As Director of the South Dakota Historical Society he oversaw the management of the five programs (archaeology, archives, museum, historic preservation, research and publishing) as well as the administrative and development units of the society.
He retired in 2020 as both the SHPO and the director of the South Dakota Historical Society. During his tenure, Jay served as the the regional chair for the American Association for State and Local History and is a past president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO). He will continue to serve, in retirement, an appointment by the President of the United States as an expert member of his Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
In his acceptance speech, Vogt talked about how hard historic preservation is and that we, as architects, should not mourn the lost buildings but celebrate the ones that we can save.
Sandra Lea Dickenson, AIA Emeritus has been a licensed architect since 1972, when women comprised less than 2% of the profession, and has practiced in six states and Germany. She is now retired. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma and is a life-long Sooner fan. Sandy and her military husband came to Vermillion, SD in 1989, choosing to stay to raise their three girls when Ross retired. Sandy is involved in South Dakota AIA, community committees and Vermillion Community Theatre. She loves to travel and has visited all 50 states and nearly 30 countries.