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Preservation Plan Update

Introduction: The Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) recently completed a process of strategic planning, and updating its Historic Context Document and Comprehensive Preservation Plan to inform the Commission’s work in 2020’s and beyond. The effort aought to articulate a more inclusive history of Rapid City and describe how experience and memory have shaped sense of place and community. This work was conducted with assistance from Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc. (VPHS)

Phase I: Phase I of the project included a strategic planning retreat that created a revised mission document for the HPC and drafts of the Historic Context Document and Comprehensive Preservation Plan. The original Historic Context Document was written in 1989. The most recent Comprehensive Preservation Plan was written in 2009.

NEWS UPDATE: Watch the video from the virtual public meeting that was held on June 3, 2020 to get input on the draft plan. 

Phase II: Phase II produced a Themes Document that interprets the development of Rapid City along the lines of “Environment,” “Government” “Economy” and “Building Community.” This document shaped the development of a master list of representative types of places throughout Rapid City that reflect key attributes about the history of our community.

Phase III: Phase III was completed in the spring of 2021. VPHS is developed a series of  topical essays under broader themes of Postwar Neighborhoods and Architecture, Landscape and Memory, and Diverse Rapid City that will help guide future planning and offer suggestions for projects the RCHPC and the community can undertake to further document sites, structures, and neighborhoods that contribute to the community’s sense of its history and identity. VPHS then integrated all of the components from Phase I, II, and III into the City’s updated and finalized Historic Context Document and Comprehensive Preservation Plan.

Phase III Historic Context Document (Final) and Preservation Plan Update (Final)

Topical Essays (ALL)


The Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission thanks the South Dakota State Historical Society for their support of Picture Rapid City’s Past. Photos appearing on these pages are provided courtesy of the Journey Museum and Learning Center and Patrick Roseland’s private photo collection. Some of the text is based on “Images of America: Rapid City Historic Downtown Architecture,” written by Jean Kessloff, Adrienne Merola Kerst, and Pat Roseland and published by Arcadia Publishing.

More information about the Historic Preservation Commission is available here.