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Dell Rapids Historic District

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1885–1934. 335-536 E. 4th St.
  • (Photograph by Michelle Dennis)
  • (Photograph by Michelle Dennis)

Along East Fourth Street in Dell Rapids is the town’s business district, with all but four of the 39 buildings constructed between 1885 and 1934, and the majority dating to pre-1903. Dell Rapids, located along the Big Sioux River about 20 miles north of Sioux Falls, had a population of over 100 people by the early 1870s. Significant growth occurred after the arrival of the railroad in 1880, with agriculture and stone quarries driving the local economy.

A fire in 1888 destroyed much of the downtown, and the town issued an ordinance that all new construction be of durable materials. Rose quartzite, a plentiful material quarried locally, became the material of choice for new construction, although brick was also used. The quartzite provides a striking unity among the ensemble. The one- and two-story buildings largely feature elements of the Romanesque and Classical Revival styles, and, for those constructed later, Art Deco. While some buildings have undergone modernization, particularly in the storefronts, most have retained their original appearance. Since 1900, development has largely occurred outside the business district. Today, the downtown continues to be a thriving commercial center.


Gerloff, Scott, “Dell Rapids Historic District,” Minnehaha County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1977. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Kumerfield, Craig. “Take a Walk Through History.” Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), December 15, 2015.

Writing Credits

Michelle L. Dennis



  • 1875


What's Nearby


Michelle L. Dennis, "Dell Rapids Historic District", [Dell Rapids, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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