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Hotel on Phillips

History: 
    Hotel on Phillips
 in Sioux Falls

History

Listed in the National Register for Historic Places, Hotel Phillips was originally the Sioux Falls National Bank Building. Yearning for a place to do business that could properly reflect its local prestige, the bank’s leading officers decided to create a new headquarters in 1917. Selecting a lot in downtown Sioux Falls near the Big Sioux River, the bank hired the architectural firm Weary & Almond to construct the building. The lead architect for the project was Oscar Wentworth, a former director of the Office of the Supervising Architect of the United States Government. With help from the contracting company Pike & Cook, Wentworth spent the next year developing the nine-story skyscraper with designs inspired by the architectural aesthetics of the visionary John Sullivan. The building today stands as the only remaining example of this unique brand of architecture—known as Sulluvanesque—in all of Sioux Falls.

Debuting before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 people in 1918, the bank became an immediate icon throughout the city. Many of the building’s earliest patrons were amazed by its structural beauty, as well as its then-cutting-edge amenities. Guests discovered countless stunning facilities inside, like high-speed electric elevators, a cigar stand, and central heating. The building even featured several advanced security measures for its time, such as a massive vault protected with a 16-ton steel doorway. Numerous local businesses vied to work within the upper floors of the location, including doctors, lawyers, and insurance agencies. This popularity among the city’s business community endured well into the mid-twentieth century, in spite of both the Great Depression and World War II.

The National Bank of South Dakota eventually replaced the Sioux Falls National Bank as the primary occupant in 1924. Despite the presence of the new bank and its wealth of smaller tenants, the building began to fall into a period of decline during the 1960s. A mass exodus from the location ensued, culminating with the relocation of the National Bank of South Dakota in 1965. Western State Bank fortunately saved the structure a decade later, subjecting it to a much-needed renovation. That bank continued to operate from the edifice until the start of twenty-first century. The building experienced yet another thorough rehabilitation in 2017, when Kelly Inns acquired the erstwhile bank. After completing a two-year-long restoration, Kelly Inns reopened the historical structure as the Hotel Phillips in 2019.

Hotel on Phillips Sioux Falls, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2019, dates back to 1917.


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