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Archive for the ‘USD buildings’ Category

The Forgotten Pool

Few people remember a pool in the 1929 newly constructed two-story armory and gymnasium building at the University of South Dakota (USD). The New Armory, as the building was called, was designed by renowned Sioux Falls architects Hugill and Blatherwick to serve two purposes: as a military armory and a replacement for the Old Armory (now Belbas Larson Center) women’s gymnasium.  Besides serving as a venue for indoor athletics, the New Armory also housed military equipment and uniforms, classrooms and offices, and the basement contained a shooting range.

              According to his papers, President Slagle was intimately involved in the construction of the building which started construction in 1928. A letter from the architects to President Slagle noted specifics about the swimming pool located on the southeast portion of first floor. A February 5, 1929, Volante article describes the building as 100 by 200 feet. It was large enough to accommodate three basketball courts. The tiled swimming pool was 25 by 75 feet with room on one side for spectator bleachers. Not only did the pool serve USD students and faculty, but Vermillion citizens were also welcome. Pictures of the Dolphins, a women’s swimming group can be found in several Coyote yearbooks from the 1950’s.

Plans of the New Armory 1st floor. (Archives and Special Collections)               

                                         

Picture of Dolphins in the swimming pool. Note the tiling. (Coyote Yearbook, 1955)

In 1929 an outdoor pool was constructed in Prentis Park, but it was only operational in the summer, making the New Armory pool available for swimming all year round. Over the years with the increase in student enrollment and growth of athletics, a new structure to house athletics was built called the DakotaDome that opened in 1980. The function of the New Armory also changed as it became home to South Dakota Broadcasting (E. O. Lawrence Telecommunications Center) and USD Military Science Department. In 2003 the building was again renovated and became the Al Neuharth Media Center which is home to the Department of Media and Journalism, the Volante, Freedom Forum, KYOT TV and KAOR radio stations, and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The pool is still there covered in sand, but not forgotten.

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Enjoy finding the changes in the USD campus from 1960 to 2016. These maps are from the USD Undergraduate Catalogs and are as close to 10 years apart as possible. Most of the graduate and undergraduate USD catalogs can be viewed at the Archives and Special Collections.

USD campus map 1960
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1960
USD campus map 1970
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1970
USD campus map 1979-1980
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1979-1980.
1989-1991 campus map
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1989-1991
1998-2000 USD campus map
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1998-2000

from USD Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

USD campus maps from 1901 and 1912 are on a July 31, 2019 blog post.

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Although both the W. H. Over Museum and the National Music Museum (NMM) have distinctly different items they collect and the NMM is part of the University of South Dakota (USD), whereas the W. H. Over Museum resides on the USD campus, but is not part of USD, at one time both called the Carnegie Library building home.

The USD Carnegie Library construction was finished and occupied in 1911 when USD enrollment was 425 students according to Cummins’ book (Cummins, Cedric C. The University of South Dakota, 1862-1966. Vermillion, SD: Dakota Press, 1975). By the later part of the 1930’s USD student enrollment doubled, and President I. D. Weeks promoted the enlargement of the building.  On Thursday, October 10, 1940, dedication exercises for the expanded library were held. The major addition, constructed of Indiana Bedford limestone, doubled the capacity of the building.

Twenty years later, enrollment doubled yet again necessitating the construction of a new library on campus. This would become the I. D. Weeks Library. In 1967 President Weeks suggested that the W. H. Over Museum, founded in 1883 by the Board of Regents known as the University Museum, occupy the old Carnegie Library building. The Over Museum had occupied several sites on campus including University Hall, the Science building, and the basement of Slagle Hall.

 In 1967, not only did Over call the Carnegie building the Over Museum’s home, but space was given to a newly hired music professor, Arne B. Larson who brought with him over 2,000 instruments. Most instruments were initially stored in Old Main.  In addition, prominent Yanktonai Dakota artist and professor Oscar Howe had his studio and a gallery in the Carnegie building. He was also assistant director of the W. H. Over Museum. 

In 1973, Andre’ Larson, Arne Larson’s son, founded and became director of the Shrine to Music Museum and the Center for the Study of the History of Musical Instruments which included his father’s collection donated to the University of South Dakota. Andre’ Larson was a consummate collector of rare and important musical instruments, books, documents, and other ephemera.

By the early 1980’s the Shrine to Music Museum was expanding and President Joseph McFadden did not renew the Over Museum’s lease for the occupancy of the Carnegie building in 1984. In addition, in 1980 Oscar Howe retired from the University and in 1983 passed away. The consequences were that the Shrine to Music Museum acquired the entire Carnegie building (AMIS newsletter Vol. xv, No.2, June 1986, Dedication of the renovated Shrine to Music Museum). By contrast, Friends of the W. H. Over Museum, raised funds to build a new museum located east of the DakotaDome. The Chair of the fundraising committee for nine years (1984-1993) was General Lloyd Moses.  In 2001, the Shrine to Music Museum changed its name to the National Music Museum and in 2018 major renovations to the Carnegie building commenced including construction of a new wing. In 2022, a ribbon cutting signaled the completion of the construction project, although developing the exhibits in the Carnegie building is ongoing.

In 2023, the W. H. Over Museum will celebrate its 140th year and the NMM its 50th year. Stay tuned for their celebrations.

Photograph thanks to Dr. Margaret Banks illustrating the enlarged Carnegie Library building in 1983 when it served as home for the Shrine to Music Museum, the W. H. Over Museum, and Oscar Howe’s Gallery. Note the lighter limestone addition to the rear of the original building.

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The Archives and Special Collections received 31 boxes of rolled architectural drawings, floor plans, and blueprints of buildings in Vermillion SD and the University of South Dakota.

architectural drawing of building

We are in the process of flattening and inventorying this gift. Projects date from 1920s to 2000s. Some of the projects are the Clay County Courthouse, Vermillion public schools, DakotaDome, Chemistry Building fire repair, animal quarters, and many dorms. The brief inventory included with the gift also lists items that are not buildings, such as a plot plan/old map and campus development. I look forward to finding them.

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During the 1980s and 1990s, USD commencement programs often highlighted USD buildings.

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Kent Scribner Collection (MS 270) is now open to researchers.

This newly processed collection consists of the campus events from Scribner’s time as a University of South Dakota undergraduate student from 1956-1960. The other part of the collection consists of Scribner’s work at the USD Foundation mostly with the capital campaign named Campaign South Dakota.

This collection is organized into seven series: Diaries, Fraternity Materials, USD Event Programs, USD Foundation, USD Publications, Photographs, and Video Tapes.

Scribner’s collection includes his correspondence with Mary Jean (Hynes) Fine, and his role in the translation and obtainment for the Archives and Special Collections of her Native American family diaries. These are in the Mary Jean Fine Collection of Thomas Hunter Diaries, likewise in the Richardson Collection.

Scribner also kept copies of Blast, a student magazine that includes what campus life was like in 1959 and in 1967.

This collection also includes information for the USD building dedications programs, history and videos that relate to the Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities Collection in the University Archives.

Contact the Archives and Special Collections for a copy of the guide to the collection.

Blast Magazine

Blast, 1967 in Kent Scribner Papers (MS 270), Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, The University of South Dakota

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Dakota Hall was built in 1919.

com-dakota-hall

This image and description of the Dakota Hall appeared on the cover of a 1992 commencement program. During the 1980s and 1990s, USD commencement programs often highlighted USD buildings. The Archives and Specials has an almost complete set of commencement programs from 1889 to 2019.

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East Hall was built 130 years ago in 1877. It was the third building constructed on our campus.

 

commencement-001-cropped

 

This image and description of the East Hall appeared on the cover of the 1981 commencement program. During the 1980s and 1990s, USD commencement programs often highlighted USD buildings. The Archives and Specials has an almost complete set of commencement programs from 1889 to 2016.

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University of South Dakota constructed an observatory one hundred years ago, in 1917.

observatory

Image from the Digital Library of South Dakota.

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During the 1980s and 1990s, University of South Dakota commencement program covers often presented brief descriptions of USD buildings.

 

commencement-005

 

In 2004, this building was remodeled and renamed the Dean Belbas Center. It houses Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar.

 

 

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