1905, costs were estimated to run to a total of half a million dollars.
But by 1907, costs had swollen to $600,000
it's construction took place, the new building was not without it's
controversy. As author Harold Schuler related in his book "The South
Dakota Capitol in Pierre," considered to be the authoritative volume on
the building, it was related that "the 1905 law creating the
construction of the Capitol had no provision in it that required using
only South Dakota materials." And that it was in great question "whether
to use in-state stone or out-of-state stone in the construction of the
in the Sioux Falls board of trade sending a resolution to the Governor
noting in part "RESOLVED that the Board of Trade of Sioux Falls most
respectfully urge that you use in the Capitol building the product of
the state whose citizens pay the cost of the construction..."
this matter began debate, the foundation for the east wing was completed
was completed using native stone and field boulders on which the Capitol
rests to this day. The only repairs that have taken place to the
foundation since involve a moisture sealing project that has been
ongoing since the late 1980's.
following the Sioux Falls Board of Trade's efforts at insisting that
native stone be used, the matter was brought before the State Supreme
Court, and drug on through the time of the 1906 elections, where is
became a campaign issue. This argument caused the Capitol Construction
to be delayed through 1907, when the new legislature finally laid the
issue to rest, and mandated that "the Capitol Commission was required to
use South Dakota stone and materials in the Capitol construction process
as long as the cost did not exceed by 5% materials produced in other
In nearly two
years' time, halted by battles and bickering, the only work that was
able to be completed was
the construction of the east wing's foundation. But with the debate
settled, further efforts at construction began apace.
costs, the materials settled upon for the construction included granite
from Ortonville, Minnesota, jasper from Sioux Falls, and Bedford
Limestone from Indiana. However, because of a lack of a firm contract
with the Sioux Falls supplier of Jasper, eventually the Sioux Falls
jasper was dropped from the contract entirely. Because of this change,
no more than the foundation could be completed in 1907.
starting again in March of 1908, the Capitol Commission approved
the laying of a 4 foot by 4 foot Ortonville Granite cornerstone with
polished letters and the great seal at the grand cost of $745. June
25th, 1908 marks the day when a lively crowd of dignitaries and
residents gathered for the laying of the cornerstone belonging to South
Dakota's permanent State Capitol.
Coe Crawford made a speech of presentation, introducing General W. H. H.
Beadle who made an address for the occasion. Deposited in the
cornerstone of the building are several articles of the time, including
coins of 1907, Capitol Bills of 1905 and 1907. The Ordinance of 1797,
Blue Books of 1905 and 1907, photographs, architectural drawings, copies
of the South Dakota constitutional debates, newspapers, and many more
materials of the day.
The day after
the corner stone laying ceremony, the Capitol Commission approved the
paying of several bills, including $50 for the Capital City band, and
$1.41 in reimbursement to Governor Crawford for the coins deposited in
the corner stone.
Below, you can
see the cornerstone of the Capitol Building as it appears today.
From the ground up