Photo, Print, Drawing Dinosaur Park, 940 Skyline Drive, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD
About this Item
- Dinosaur Park, 940 Skyline Drive, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD
- Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
- Sullivan, Emmit A
- Works Progress Administration
- Brown, Barnum
- O'Hara, C C
- Davidson, Lisa Pfueller, historian
- Bieretz, Renee, photographer
Created / Published
- Documentation compiled after 1933
- - New Deal
- - Works Progress Administration
- - concession
- - parks
- - public sculpture
- - Roadside attractions
- - South Dakota--Pennington County--Rapid City
Latitude / Longitude
- - Significance: Dinosaur Park was built as a tourist attraction and city park by the Works Progress Administration and the City of Rapid City in 1936. The hilltop park features five concrete dinosaurs representing the prehistoric history of the Black Hills region. Dinosaur Park was built at the top of a hill overlooking Rapid City, South Dakota with Works Progress Administration Project funding. The park included stone stairs and five concrete dinosaurs. The dinosaurs included a Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus (formerly Brontosaurus), and Anatotian (formerly Trachodon). Originally the dinosaurs were painted gray and the site had less hardscaping. Currently the sculptures have a green and white color scheme that dates to the 1950s. Two additional prehistoric creature sculptures added later – a Dimetrodon and a Protoceratops – are located near the gift shop and parking lot on the other side of Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive was built with New Deal-funding as a companion project to Dinosaur Park. Dinosaur Park is an unusual New Deal project intended to capitalize on the tourist traffic going through Rapid City to Mount Rushmore National Monument. The work began in February 1936 as Works Progress Administration Project #960. The official dedication was May 22, 1936 with construction continuing until 1938. The dinosaurs were designed by lawyer and sculptor Emmit Sullivan (b. 1887- d. 1970) and constructed with a two-inch metal pipe frame covered with wire mesh and a concrete skin. Sullivan later did sculptures for Dinosaur World in Beaver, Arkansas and the Christ of the Ozarks statue in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The Rapid City Chamber of Commerce was involved, as was Dr. C. C. O'Hara, paleontologist and retired President of the nearby South Dakota School of Mines. Dr. Barnum Brown, curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, served as a scientific consultant. The specimens were chosen to represent the dinosaur fossils found in the Western United States. Their scale is generally correct, but their concrete forms reflect an outdated view of dinosaur anatomy. The current gift shop and parking lot were added c. 1968 and the site became an official city park that year. Dinosaur Park has been changed over the years with additional asphalt paths, stone retaining walls, terraces, and railings, but still serves as a unique tourist attraction.
- - Survey number: HABS SD-27
- - Building/structure dates: 1936-1938 Initial Construction
- - Building/structure dates: ca. 1968 Subsequent Work
- - National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 90000956
- Photo(s): 4
- Color Transparencies: 2
- Data Page(s): 3
- Photo Caption Page(s): 1
Call Number/Physical Location
- HABS SD-27
- Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
- Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
- No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted. https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html
- Bieretz, Renee
- Brown, Barnum
- Davidson, Lisa Pfueller
- Historic American Buildings Survey
- O'Hara, C C
- Sullivan, Emmit a
- Works Progress Administration
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- Call Number: HABS SD-27
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Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Emmit A Sullivan, Works Progress Administration, Barnum Brown, C C O'Hara, and Lisa Pfueller Davidson, Bieretz, Renee, photographer. Dinosaur Park, 940 Skyline Drive, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD. Rapid City South Dakota Pennington County, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/sd0422/.
APA citation style:
Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Sullivan, E. A., Works Progress Administration, Brown, B., O'Hara, C. C. & Davidson, L. P., Bieretz, R., photographer. (1933) Dinosaur Park, 940 Skyline Drive, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD. Rapid City South Dakota Pennington County, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/sd0422/.
MLA citation style:
Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, et al., photographer by Bieretz, Renee. Dinosaur Park, 940 Skyline Drive, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/sd0422/>.