|Pres. James Monroe|
By Presidents Information Center
Note: Gold Railroad Spike
In 1972 Rapid City experienced a devastating major flood along Rapid Creek, killing 272 people. Almost like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, these hardy citizens decided to rebuild their city. Fortunately, the flood did not destroy a high percentage of their historic past, which was impetus for the two historic districts.
Central to their recovery was formation of a Flood Plain Development Committee which addressed concerns for any development in the flood plain of Rapid Creek. One result is development of green areas with flowering shrubs and flowers, bike and walking trails, peaceful parks and playgrounds. Yes, such can be destroyed, but are easier to reconstruct than lost businesses and homes. The result is a beautiful city.
|I have failed to find the significance of the spike which|
looks like a railroad spike. The First Transcontinental
Railroad was not completed during Monroe's terms of
Office. Monroe's primary claim to fame was
the Monroe Doctrine
The completion of I-90, the first east to west coast Interstate in 1978, certainly contributed to Rapid City's recovery success.
|Rapid City has two historic|
districts and touring buses
are available or you may
follow these signs and
map your own tour.
We viewed the Downtown Tour of Presidents late in the evening and our photos are not the best so I refer you to this link for complete information and pictures. Rapid City claims to be the only location in the world where all 43 presidents are displayed in life size bronze statues.
The seed of germination for a tour of US Presidents was born in a business man Don Perdue. There was a life-size seated Lincoln outside a hotel where the public interacted with statue, having their photos seated on the bench beside him. Sharing his idea with Dallerie Davis, a realtor and activist of the artist community, the two committed to a 10 year time line for the project.
|Rapid City Historic Building|
|Pres. Harry Truman Holding|
Published Before Final
Electios Results An-
noucing His Opponent
There is a historical building downtown that serves as the Presidents Information Center. The center contains biographies of all the Presidents and maquettes (smaller versions of the actual statues), other memorabilia and souvenirs.
Certain events provoke additional activities. Veterans often gather at Eisenhower's statue on D-Day. On International Women's Day, posters of all First Ladies are displayed by each President. And some devotees of the project wrap scarves around their favorite Presidents during the cold North Dakota winters.
|Another Historic Building in Rapid City|
Boy Scouts care for the appearance of the statues. In October 2010 when the last four statues were unveiled, the Scouts paid tribute to Mr. Perdue's dream by reciting, "I will follow my dream--because I can."
The Dream was completed in the 10th year as dreamed by its founders. I believe the very friendly lady at the Information Center said a non-profit foundation was formed. $2 million was raised in private donations.
I, as a former city official, am really impressed with this project, which shows what a small core of committed, devoted people can create, be it a significant historic project, or restoring a near destroyed city with economic impact to its public and private sectors.
Again, Rapid City is a place I would have loved to have the stamina and time to explore.
I plan a FLICKR slide show of the Presidents even though it is not even close to good photography and only presentable through heavy use of Adobe Photoshop Elements. If I knew more of the programs features I probably could have done a much better job. We literally took some of these shots after dark (and I forgot to remove my polarizer which cuts out some light).
As a "flicker" of the slide show I present Pres. Taft, the baseball player. As a younger man he was very athletic. Even after his athletic endeavors were abandoned for politics with its many dinners, potlucks etc., he considered himself "in good shape." a delusion many of us portly people maintain. He was and still is the heaviest man to be President.
|Pres. William Taft in the Pitcher's Position|
Shaking Off the Catcher's Signal
|Pres. William Taft|
Baseball View in Back
Photos by NitWit1,
|President William Taft|
The Pitcher's Grip
Is It Going to Be A
|President William Taft|
Alternate View of Baseball
and Hand Grip