Commissioner Darin R. Seeley

The South Dakota State Capitol

On June 25, 1908 when the corner stone for the South Dakota State Capitol was laid, Governor Coe Crawford said in his address: "The new capitol will do more than comfortably accommodate the officers who are to labor within its walls for the people whom they will serve. It will stand throughout the coming years as an expression of beauty and art, and as the people come and go and linger within its walls, they will see in it an expression of the soul of the state."

June 30, 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the formal dedication of the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. Governor Mike Rounds presided over the sealing of a 2010 time capsule which was placed in a locked glass display case immediately adjacent to the front doors of the Capitol where it can be viewed by the public. The capsule contains a South Dakota Quarter set from the U.S. Mint; Gov Rounds' 2010 State of the State Address; photos with personal messages from state and tribal officeholders; Congressional Record statements honoring the building; several current newspapers from around the state; video footage of the 2010 Capitol Centennial Celebration; Governor Rounds' Year of Unity Proclamation; a state flag flown at the Capitol; and history books. It was placed in the glass case near the grand entrance so that it would be accessible to be opened by whomever is Governor of South Dakota in 2110 for the 200th year celebration. The time capsule from 1908 is located within the granite cornerstove of the building making it impractical to access to view the contents. 

Capitol Security Checkpoint

The safety of the Capitol and the people who use it is our top priority. Our goal is for it to remain open and accessible to the public while proactively ensuring all who enter have a safe and positive experience. Capitol visitors will enter through the north doors and be directed into the Security Office. Signage will help direct visitors what to do and inform them of what items are not allowed in the Capitol.

Capitol Access Pass Registration Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Carrying a Concealed Pistol in the Capitol

Effective July 1, 2019, individuals with South Dakota enhanced concealed carry permits wishing to carry a concealed pistol in the State Capitol may do so only after 24 hours advance notice to Capitol Security personnel. This notice must include the date or date range during which the individual intends to carry a concealed pistol in the Capitol, however, the range of dates can not extend beyond December thirty-first of any year.  The notification may be renewed by the individual as necessary and without limit. No concealed pistols are permitted in the Governor's personal office or in the Supreme Court Chamber. To notify Capitol Security of your intent to carry a concealed pistol in the Capitol, please call (605) 280-4715 or visit the Capitol Security Office on the first floor of the Capitol.

Using the State Capitol and Grounds for Special Events

In addition to hosting a variety of special State events, the Capitol and surrouding grounds are also available for private events. Some restrictions apply. For complete guidelines and procedures, visit the link below:

The People's House Exhibit

This incredible exhibit chronicle the first 100 years of the State Capitol was displayed at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center through December 12, 2011. For a preview of the exhibit, click below.

The Fight for the South Dakota State Capitol

While Pierre ultimately won the right to serve as South Dakota's capitol city, the competition for that honor was fierce with cities like Huron, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, and Watertown battling for the recognition. Get an inside look at the fight and the ultimate victory with this informative exhibit from the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center.

Our Statehouse: A Capitol Idea

Our Statehouse: A Capitol Idea: This entertaining and educational television special from South Dakota Public Broadcasting highlights the history of the State Capitol from the formation of the Dakota Territory through each phase of the construction and restoration of the building itself as well as details some of the historic events that have taken place within its walls. A must-see for history and architecture buffs along with all South Dakotans interested in the story of "Our Statehouse".

South Dakota Public Broadcasting offers a teacher's guide, videos, scavenger hunts, photos, lesson plans, and much more for the South Dakota State Capitol. Our thanks to SDPB for sharing this information with the State Capitol Tour Office!