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The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Building is a historic structure built in 1938. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, the building is significant for its vernacular rustic architecture and association with the Works Progress Administration, which built it. Before the parks and recreation department moved in, the building housed two museums, the Minnelusa Pioneer Museum and the Sioux Indian Museum.


  • The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Building is a good example of rustic vernacular architecture.

Local architect Waldo J. W. Winter designed the building, which was intended to be a museum and serve as a repository for local and regional historical collections. As stated above, the Works Progress Administration—one of the "New Deal" programs the federal government established during the Great Depression to support the economy—constructed the building. The building's architecture reflects the "rustic" Adirondack style and craftsman movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which originated in upstate New York. The building's rustic features include logs, large chimneys, native limestone, shingled roofs, large overhangs, and exposed rafters. The west wing was added in 1957. It is not readily apparent when the museums closed and the parks and recreation department moved in.

Preszler, Robert E. "Rapid City Historical Museum." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. December 20, 1988. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/ccdb1cae-fbad-4d20-b23a-282a0226d9fa.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Jeffrey Beall, via Wikimedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Pennington_County,_South_Dakota#/media/File:Rapid_City_Historical_Museum.JPG