Cultural Heritage Center Renovation Update

Each year, the Cultural Heritage Center (CHC) welcomes more than 16,000 people. In 2019, visitors came from 49 states and 20 foreign countries. It has been a symbol of South Dakota heritage since 1989, when it opened as part of the state's centennial celebration. Three decades later, it's time to modernize the facility as a place for South Dakotans and our guests to fully experience the state's rich past and captivating stories.

In her December 2021 budget address, Governor Noem recommended an appropriation to renovate the iconic building. The Legislature unanimously approved the appropriation.

The CHC is home to the South Dakota State Historical Society, encompassing the state history museum, state archives, South Dakota Historical Society Press, state historic preservation office and our Foundation partners. Along with the Archeological Research Center in Rapid City, the Society empowers audiences to experience South Dakota's stories by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and publishing our history for present and future generations. The project's goal is to ensure the CHC is prepared to provide these experiences well into the future.

  • The project has three complimentary goals:
  • - The first is performing maintenance and repair work on the building, which will include improvements to the sod and the structural roof; modernizing the heating & cooling systems and the building's interior lighting; and making needed improvements to the building's entryway and parking so that it is more accessible.
  • - The second main area is creating more storage capacity within the building to house the state's growing archival, museum, and preservation collections. The aim is to add an additional twenty to thirty years to the building's storage life.
  • - The last goal involves the permanent exhibits of our museum. With support from our partners in the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, the museum exhibits will become more interactive for our visitors and more effective in supporting educators and South Dakota students.

The archives and museum collections will be moved to off-site storage throughout the fall of 2022. Temporary traveling exhibits from the state history museum are being planned throughout South Dakota during the renovation. The current state history museum will continue to be available to visit until spring of 2023.

All staff will be available throughout the renovation. Starting later this fall, Archives and Museum staff will be working from the Northridge Plaza in Pierre. The plan is to reopen the renovated building in 2025.

Those interested in supporting the project by partnering with the SD Historical Society Foundation, please contact Catherine Forsch at 605-773-6003 or via their webpage.

To contact us, find office and staff directories here.

Those interested in bidding on the project, please contact the SD State Engineer.

CHC Remodel

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