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Sioux Falls City Hall

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1936, Harold Spitznagel. 224 W. 9th St.

Located in downtown Sioux Falls, on the northeast corner of West Ninth Street and North Dakota Avenue, this simplified Moderne building was constructed with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936. Local architect Harold Spitznagel designed the three-story building, which rests on a base of Cold Spring Rainbow granite and is clad in pressed tan brick and trimmed in Bedford limestone. The granite also surrounds the doors on the south and west facades. The low-relief granite sculptures over the entrances are by Cleveland artist Elizabeth Seaver; local artist Palmer Eide created the abstract sculptures over the first-floor windows, which depict different divisions of municipal government.

Various city offices, including the police department, building department, and those for city officials are located on the ground floor. The municipal courtroom, judges’ chambers, health department, clerk of courts, and park department are on the second floor; the city council chambers feature three murals painted by Edwin Boyd Johnson as part of the WPA Federal Art Project. The third floor contains a 400-person assembly room and other office space. Marble is used throughout the interior, and the floors are of metal-lined terrazzo. The building featured modern conveniences such as steam heating with automatically adjusted temperature controls, a central electric clock system, and a central soap dispensing system in the lavatories, with regulated-flow faucets. This project helped establish Spitznagel’s regional and national reputation.

References

Erpestad, David, and David Wood. Building South Dakota. Pierre: South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 1997.

Murphy, Patricia and Susan Granger, “Sioux Falls Downtown Historic District,” Minnehaha County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1994. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Renshaw, Eric. “Looking Back: Sioux Falls’ City Hall Designed as Modern Testament to City Functions.” Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), October 13, 2018.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Michelle L. Dennis
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Data

Timeline

  • 1936

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Michelle L. Dennis, "Sioux Falls City Hall", [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/SD-01-099-0072.

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