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Raven Industries

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Manchester Biscuit Building
1902; 1909 addition, Joseph Schwarz; 1915–1916 addition, Joseph Schwarz; 1947–1948 addition, Westcott Engineering Co. 205 E. 6th St.

The Raven Industries building at the north end of downtown Sioux Falls is an excellent example of the city’s industrial expansion during the first half of the twentieth century. It is sited between the Big Sioux River on the east and where the railroad spurs were located on the west.

The Manchester Biscuit Company first built a factory here in 1902. The business, which had relocated from Luverne, Minnesota, expanded rapidly and became one of the largest employers in the city. It quickly outgrew the original two-story quartzite building. In 1909 the company hired local architect Joseph Schwarz to add a third story to the original structure and build a three-story, trapezoidal-shaped, post-and-beam addition on the south end of the factory; it, too, was clad in locally quarried dark Sioux quartzite. In 1915-1916 Schwarz again expanded the factory, this time with a seven-story reinforced concrete building on the north and a five-story addition on the south, both clad in dark brown textured brick with geometric-patterned, Prairie Style limestone trim. The final addition, constructed in 1947-1948, is a five-story, Streamlined Moderne building clad in yellow and brown brick that replaced the original 1902 building, which was demolished.

In 1930, the Manchester Biscuit Company was absorbed into the United Biscuit Company (later Keebler) and business continued to expand, with factories opening in cities across the Midwest. The Sioux Falls factory operated until 1960. Raven Industries purchased the building for its corporate headquarters, which it continues to operate to this day. The company manufactures high-altitude balloons, precision agriculture products, plastic film and sheeting, and radar systems.

References

Mathis, Gregory R., “Old Courthouse and Warehouse District (Boundary Increase),” Minnehaha County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1999. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Smith, Charles A. A Comprehensive History of Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Mitchell, SD: Educator Supply Company, 1949.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Michelle L. Dennis
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Data

Timeline

  • 1902

    Built
  • 1909

    Addition
  • 1915

    Addition
  • 1947

    Addition

What's Nearby

Citation

Michelle L. Dennis, "Raven Industries", [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/SD-01-099-0068.

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