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Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities

Identifier: Temp-USD-006

Content Description

The collection is comprised of material about buildings, other structures, and utilities at the University of South Dakota.


  • 1888 - 2022
  • Majority of material found within 1900 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The University of South Dakota (USD) was established as the first university in the Dakota Territory when the Legislature authorized its existence in Vermillion in 1862. It was not until 1882, with the added support of the citizens of Clay County, that the first classes were held in the Clay County Court House and construction began on University Hall, now known as Old Main. Construction was completed on Old Main in 1883, and the University moved into its new building, which was flanked by two residential Halls: West Hall, which burned down in 1905, and East Hall, which still remains standing. In the early morning hours of August 1893, a fire was discovered in Old Main. By noon, only the outer stone walls remained. With support from the community, Old Main was rebuilt by 1895 using the South Dakota Building from the World’s Fair Exposition.

The campus sprawled steadily after 1902 and exhibits a variety of architectural styles, with the Science Hall, old Armory, College of Law, Carnegie Library, Dakota Hall, and Chemistry Building all erected by 1920. I.D. Week’s 30-year presidency authorized the construction of many buildings, including Slagle Hall, Patterson Hall (Business School), Lee Medical Building, and many new residential halls. It also saw the closure of Old Main to habitation and resignation of the building to that of a storage facility. In the 1990s, President Betty Asher Turner’s administration undertook to restore and renovate Old Main, and it was rededicated in 1997. Buildings constructed during James Abbott’s USD presidency (1977-2018) are: Beacom Hall, Coyote Village, Lee Medical Building (new), Muenster University Center, Wagner Center, and Wellness Center.


8 Linear Feet (7 record cartons, 1 document box, 2 oversize flat boxes, and 7 oversize folders in the map case)

Language of Materials



This collection contains information about the buildings, other structures, and utilities that are part of the University of South Dakota.


The collection is comprised of four series: Buildings, Other Structures, Utilities, and Oversize. The Buildings series is subdivided into individual buildings. The Other Structure series is subdivided into individual structures. The distinction between buildings and structures is somewhat arbitrary. Usually, structures do not house offices, classrooms, or living areas. The Utilities series is subdivided into individual utilities. The Oversize series Oversize is divided by size, then subdivided into buildings, other structures, and utilities. The final arrangement is alphabetical.

Names that appear in parentheses indicate other names for that building.

Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities
In Progress
Tammy Kuxhouse. Upated frequently.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository