‘W.L. Dow, Architect’ documentary preview is slated for May 3 at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Alumni Association, Department of History and University Libraries, along with the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission and the Clay County Historical Society, will host a screening of the documentary, “W. L. Dow, Architect” at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at the Muenster University Center 216A on the USD campus.

“W. L. Dow, Architect” will air May 6 on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and highlights the work of Wallace Dow, who came to the prairie in the 1880s and left his mark on cities from Bismarck, N.D. to Vermillion. Old Main and East Hall, both Dow buildings and landmarks of the USD campus, are featured in the film. A question and answer session with the film’s creators and producers, Brad and Jennifer Dumke of Sioux Falls, S.D., will follow the screening at 3:30 p.m.

“We wanted to produce a historical documentary that brings history to life, is informative, and makes history interesting and enjoyable while providing a community service in preserving the past,” the Dumkes said in a statement.

Jim Wilson, chair of the Clay County Historical Society, stated that Dow was also responsible for several prominent buildings in Vermillion, including the First National Bank Building (now Red Steakhouse), the first Vermillion Public High School and the first Vermillion City Hall. “Dow was the most prolific and famous of the early architects in South Dakota and built in a variety of styles,” Wilson added.

“Dow seems to have done it all,” said USD Associate Professor of History Molly Rozum, Ph.D. “His buildings were varied in design and purpose, from Queen Anne to Gothic and from homes and schools to churches.”

The screening is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. For more information about “W. L. Dow, Architect,” please call (605) 310-3844 or email jenniferdumke@msn.com.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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