Main Street Square

Rapid City, SD

Main Street Square, which opened in 2011, in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota, is a venue for year-round events, recreation, and unique art exhibits for residents and visitors.  Regional geography, community history and culture are reflected in the park’s artistic features.

REA was commissioned by Destination Rapid City (DRC) to develop plans for a central city park that brings to life the program developed by the community and Project for Public Spaces (PPS). The park, known as Main Street Square, serves as an integral part of the downtown revitalization effort in Rapid City, attracting both residents and visitors to the downtown. Plans provide programming flexibility to allow activities to change during the seasons. In summer the central plaza is an entertainment/festival venue with concerts, art exhibits, water play, markets, and food service. In winter, ice skating and winter festivals will continue to attract people to the downtown.

The design creates a strong sense of place, highlighting the region’s history, culture, and the landscape forms of the Black Hills and Badlands. These features are evidenced in the materials, artworks, and overall character of the square. Stone “artwork tapestries” at the perimeter of the square portray the contrasting landscapes of the Badlands and the Black Hills, and two stone spires identify Rapid City as the center of this unique region.

Main Street Square was completed in the fall of 2011 and has been embraced as the heart of downtown Rapid City. In 2012, the International Making Cities Livable organization honored the project with its Healthy Communities Urban Plazas Award.