Waddell building now a historical site

The Waddell building, on Pine Street, downtown Philip, has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

The Waddell building, erected in 1910, is only the second building in Haakon County to have received this designation. The Bank at Midland is also on the list, though it has been condemned and is in the process of being torn down.

"There is a lot of infrastructure work to do to the Waddell building. I want to do the building justice," said Christine Andrus, current owner of the building. "I am also asking for any folklore and history of the building that anyone can offer. It is incredible to me of how little is recorded about Philip. It's like everybody knows about it, so no one writes it down. What I gather about the Waddell building will probably be mostly an oral history. It seems like it should be the hearth of the town, which everyone knows about and goes by everyday. It is imposing, brick, warm, historical ...."

Below is text of the letter from the National Register.

12 March 2010

Dear Ms. Andrus:

The State Historic Preservation Office is pleased to inform you that the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, listed the following property on the National Register of Historic Places.

Waddell Block, Philip,

Haakon County, South Dakota

The National Register of Historic Places was created by the United States government to recognize properties which contribute to the prehistoric and historic development of our localities, states and nation. Through the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, each state participates in the identification and recognition of these important sites. In this way, we preserve the visible remnants of our country's heritage for future generations.

Thank you for your contribution to the preservation of the history of South Dakota and our nation.


Jay D. Vogt, State Historic

Preservation Officer

The included certificate reads:

National Register of

Historic Places

Waddell Block

Listed 24 February 2010

In recognition of its contribution to the history of South Dakota.

Jay D. Vogt, director, South Dakota State Historic Society, Department of Tourism and State Development

Being thus registered protects the Waddell building from some rules and regulations of modern building codes. "As it is an historic landmark, I am prevented from changing the look of the structure, the original integrity of the building," said Andrus. "One reason they accepted it into the registry so quickly was because it was so unaltered, and remained so original. It is my intension to mimic that as much as possible."

Kennedy Implement had owned the two story building for over 30 years, using it as a storage area for implement items. Kennedy's had emptied all items from the building when the business moved to its current location at the east side of Philip. Ownership of the building then changed hands to Curt Arthur and Darrel Terkildsen. Terkildsen bought out Arthur's share of the building, and eventually sold it to Andrus. Before Kennedy's owned the Waddell building, the exact use of it rests in the haziness of individual memories of seniors who may or may not recall those times.

The Waddell Block is also what Richard Longstreth classifies as a two-part commercial block in his study of commercial architecture The Buildings of Main Street: A Guide to American Commercial Architecture. Two-part commercial blocks were the most common type of composition used for small and moderate-sized commercial buildings across the country. This type is generally limited to two to four stories and has a distinct boundary between distinct zones. The lower zone at street level is used for public spaces, such as retail stores, banking rooms, insurance offices, etc. The upper stories offer a more private use, such as meeting halls, hotel rooms and private offices.

The book states that Ralph Waddell built the Waddell Block in 1910, right after the construction of the Bank of Philip building. Both were constructed of Fort Pierre brick and were the first masonry structures in Philip. Both the bank and the Waddell Block were two of the few buildings to survive a devastating fire that destroyed most of the business section of town in 1920. The Bank of Philip has since been razed, making the Waddell Block the oldest masonry structure in Philip. The Waddell Block was traditionally retail space.

The book also states that the R.M. Waddell Land Company started business in Philip in 1907. The company sold commercial, residential, and farm and ranch property all over the county. Offices for the Waddell Land Company were originally above the post office, which was adjacent to the Waddell Block. The first businesses in the building were the Philip Shoe Store and the Philip Harness Shop, the latter being there for many years. Later, the upper floor of the Waddell Block was the home of the Philip Clinic for many years.

The Waddell Block is a commercial style building. In South Dakota this is a structure of multiple stories, constructed of masonry and having multiple bays with large storefront windows and an entryway. Unlike most commercial buildings in South Dakota, this building has not been extensively altered and retains a high degree of integrity in design and materials.