One might not notice much transformation to the University of South Dakota president’s home from a drive-by down Vermillion’s historic Main Street, but the Inman House has undergone a significant metamorphosis.
The Main Street mainstay has been a cordial gathering place for alumni and friends of the university, serving as both that and the president’s residence for decades. The necessity of providing safe infrastructure, conducive spaces for entertaining and a favorable space for family quarters led to an addition of 3,240 square feet to the pre-existing 3,900. The main level was transformed by opening the floor plan, creating a larger gathering area. Hosting areas were reconfigured, allowing guests to use more of the space and increasing its capacity from 40 people to 60. A new ADA-compliant entrance with a ramp into the foyer and a new ADA restroom were also installed.
The upper level of the residence was refurbished to include a master bath suite with walk-in closet, a kitchenette and family room. Downstairs, the addition of a warming kitchen alleviates the family kitchen being used by caterers and servers. Less obvious to the eye, throughout the home, new mechanical systems were installed: the 50-year-old boiler system was replaced with a forced air system, and the lighting, electricity, sound system, IT equipment, wireless access and hard wiring was updated, and a sound system was installed on the main level. Fresh paint, new decor and manicured landscaping finishes the new look.
All the new features of the home, however, have not retracted from the historical significance and aesthetic of the home. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places—the official inventory of significant properties in the U.S.—since 1976, and the historical integrity was maintained by choosing shingles, paint colors, woodwork and flooring compliant to the national registry. The original oak and maple wood floors were sanded and refinished, while new maple wood flooring was stained and finished to match the originals.