Custer State Park Archives

Located in Custer State Park, South Dakota

Scope of Work

CAP Assessment

Berggren Architects performed a CAP Assessment (Collections Assessment for Preservation) for the Custer State Park Archives.

Project Completion

2018

This project was completed in 2018.

The History

Built in 1912.

The museum was constructed in 1912. 

Location

Custer State Park, South Dakota

The Custer State Park Archives are located in Custer State Park, South Dakota.

CAP Assessment

Custer State Park Archives

In 2018, Berggren Architects and conservator Terri Schindel performed a Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) for the Custer State Park Archives in South Dakota. Custer State Park is South Dakota’s first and largest state park. It covers over 71,000 acres of land and is rich with the beauty of the Black Hills and the history of its inhabitants. The Archives were formed in 2018 to showcase and preserve the park’s historical documents and artifacts. Artifacts are on display throughout the park in various modern, historic, and recreated historic buildings. Due to the vastness of the site, we limited our assessment to the six most critical structures: a stockade, a firetower, a historic cabin, an administration building, an education center, and the state park office.

In our report, we provided many short and long-term recommendations for each structure. Of particular interest is the Gordon Stockade, a recreation of an original log fortress which Captain John Gordon used during the Great Sioux War of 1876 as defense against the Lakota Sioux. The current 2004 recreation includes some non-historic materials, including a foam rubber chinking in the log courses which have begun to separate. We recommended that rather than repairing it, it should be replaced with a more historically typical chinking of oakum coated with lime putty.

Following the CAP, Berggren Architects, along with our engineering consultant, assisted Custer State Park in their grant application for re-lighting the facility.