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South Dakota Stockgrowers building receives historic designation

The iconic neon sign that sits on top of the Stockgrowers building.
The iconic neon sign that sits on top of the Stockgrowers building.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association building, a key feature of downtown Rapid City, has officially received designation as a historic state landmark.

SDSGA executive director Doris Lauing said they’re awaiting the same designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation – administered by the Department of Interior.

“They said ‘you know, yeah, it’s a brick building – but it’s the organization, it’s the history of the organization, and the history of that sign that sits on our roof.’ That sign was created as our trademark in 1958,” Lauing said.

Refurbishing and preserving the iconic neon sign was a priority for the organization. A $10,000 grant was provided by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission for work on the roof to keep that sign safe.

Kevin Kuchenbecker is historic preservation officer.

“When we got to application everybody was like ‘oh, we get to preserve that historic sign,’ and I kept saying you gotta have a good foundation for that sign to sit on," Kuchenbecker said. "So, you gotta have that roof fixed before you do too much with the sign.”

The designation was formally announced Thursday.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture