The Soldiers and Sailors World War Memorial in Pierre is located directly across the street from the State Capitol. The memorial building was first conceived following World War I but the state did not have the funds to erect it until 1929. That year, Chicago and North Western Railroad donated land and in 1930, the State hired Sioux Falls architects Wilford F. Blatherwick and John C. Hugill to design the restrained but elegant Classical Revival building.
The two-story, steel-framed building is clad in sandstone from the Evans Quarry in Hot Springs. The rectangular structure measures 40 by 100 feet. Since it is built into a banked site, the lower story is visible only on the rear elevation. The front steps, made of quarried granite from Milbank, lead to three entrances under the portico, which features a pediment supported by six large Ionic columns. The building also has Renaissance Revival details, including the rusticated base and water table, quoins, and pedimented doorways. The entrance opens to a central hallway with flanking galleries on the first and second floors.
Still the state’s only memorial of its kind, the building originally housed the South Dakota State Historical Society and Robinson Museum. It currently is home to the South Dakota Department of the Military and Veterans Affairs.