Law Library

Page 1

Law Library | Pierre, SD

Honor


Renovations over the past half-century clouded the character and history of the South Dakota State Capitol Law Library. Pragmatic updates had been made for heating and cooling, lighting and regular updates to finishes to refresh the smokey patina from years of indoor pipe and cigar smoking. Non-original furniture, floor and window coverings had also been added. The Law Library restoration included historic light fixture replacement, restoration of original frieze, stenciling and decorative painting, new window coverings, and related mechanical and electrical upgrades. As a starting point for finishes, the shelving units were removed and repainted their original color by the local correctional facility carpentry shop, who also repaired and refinished original furnishings.

before

mezzanine before

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Fan coil units were replaced and hidden in cabinets under every other window, then capped with a limestone top to contrast adjacent original red marble sills. Shortly after it’s original construction, a mezzanine was added using the same metal stack system to accommodate a growing library collection. Eventually, the historic light fixtures were removed. Inspired by his love of history, South Dakota and the Law Library, Chief Justice David Gilbertson dreamed of its return to glory. He shared an article from a 1911 Western Architect periodical describing the library, his envision of the storied frieze featuring the Dakota Territory judges, and his vision for the restoration.

before

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Layers of paint were removed to uncover the names of Dakota Territory judges which were included in a decorative frieze encircling the room. The missing light fixtures were remade from a historical photo and supplemented with LED strip lights placed on top of each bookcase.

before

historical

before

before

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


The library’s ante room was the original librarian station. The chairs seen in this photo were refinished and placed back in their original configuration with corresponding tables in the library. A display case was added to protect ledger books which were found stacked on filing cabinets in the lower level.

before

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Second Floor Plan

3/32” = 1’ 0”

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Interior Elevations

Law Library | South Dakota State Capitol


Additional Context: South Dakota became a state in 1889, and between 1905 and 1910, the capitol building was erected after a long campaign by the city of Pierre to become South Dakota’s capital city. The Capitol building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An extensive interior restoration of the State Capitol complex was implemented over a 14-year period which included interior marble replacement, scagliola, murals and stencils, restoration of light fixtures, floors, carpeting, woodwork, furnishings and exterior stone work.