The Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is comprised of seven citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. With support through grant funding from the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, the HPC is dedicated to identifying, protecting, and educating the public about cultural resources and historic sites. The HPC’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Rapid City by engaging in activities that protect historic structures and sites. It works to cultivate a shared understanding of history and culture through ongoing dialogue that strengthens social bonds, shapes community identity, and helps to bridge the city’s past to its future.
Staffed by and housed within the City of Rapid City’s Community Development Department, the HPC is a local manifestation of a national and international historic preservation community that also includes state and federal agencies, municipal and regional planners, cultural resource management professionals, businesspeople, academics and educators, non-profit organizations, property owners, activists, craftspeople, and others.
Early photo of the Elks Theater
HPC members have a demonstrated interest, experience, or knowledge in historic preservation and represent the professional disciplines of history, architectural history, architecture, archaeology, planning, urban planning, American Studies, American civilization, paleontology, law, cultural geography, etc.
The HPC participates in conducting historic reviews in accordance with Rapid City Ordinances and South Dakota Codified Law. The HPC encourages preservation of historically significant features within the community to ensure that a connection to the past remains intact for the future.
Since the 1970s, the HPC has undertaken a number of projects to produce planning documents, survey historic properties and districts, nominate properties to the National Register of Historic Places, and engage property owners and community members about the importance of history and historic preservation to the local and regional communities.