Let’s Take A Walk… A HistoryWalk

Throughout downtown Sioux Falls, there’s plenty of history to be found… from  buildings to historic events that took place. One organization wants to make it easier for you to find these sites and how they’re doing it may catch you by surprise.

“What would North Philips Avenue look like way back when?”
“You can envision like way back, you know, eighty years ago… when the trolley was still running on an electric line and horse and wagons were prevalent,” explained Communications and Membership Director Brienne Maner.

As the times have changed… so has the look and feel of downtown Sioux Falls.

“This used to be a mall?”
“Yup, if you go into the elevators, actually, inside of Shriver Square there’s still markings of what each floor had available, you know, so women’s wear,” elaborated Maner, pointing to the outside of the building.  “And there used to be a rotating restaurant on the top so just things you don’t think about every day.”

The organization, though, Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. wants you to reminisce and think about this things while taking a stroll down the new HistoryWalk.

“[By] Showcasing all of the historical information of the downtown area whether that be a historic building, a person of interest or something that happened,” explained Communications and Membership Director Brienne Maner. “We have the Dillinger Building where the robbery happened.”

To do that, though, the group is going to need your help in transforming 19 traffic signal control boxes throughout downtown. The boxes will be wrapped in vinyl, displaying historical information and pictures, like what happened back on March 6th, 1934 when John Dillinger and his gang held up a bank and made of with nearly $50,000.

And Downtown Sioux Falls has already has some traffic signal control boxes wrapped in vinyl, they current display maps of downtown. Brienne Maner with Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. says that the Clean Slate Group’s vinyl wrap is of high quality, graffiti proof and last upwards of 6 to 7 years.

“To use this same model and concept and throw historical information,” Maner said, pointing to an already wrapped box, “what used to be standing right here fifty… one hundred years ago that’s really interesting to people and makes them stop and think.”

But first, Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. needs to win a grant they’ve applied for… and that’s, Communications and Membership Director for Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. Brienne Maner says, where you come in.

“This is a free, twenty five thousand dollars that can go back to the community to better the downtown area,” Maner explained. The $25,000 comes from a grant from State Farm called Neighborhood Assist. Out of 2,000 causes that were submitted, Downtown Sioux Falls was chosen. Now in the top 200, they need votes to get within the top 40 by Friday.

To vote, all you need to do is go here and fill out basic information. Brienne Maner with Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. says that they have until 10:59:59pm on November 4th to make it within the top 40. Those within the top 40 will win the grant.

Brienne Maner also says that these funds could also potentially be used to create a mobile app that users can get even more information about the history of downtown Sioux Falls.