Old photograph inspires custom doors on historic Rapid City house

 This is the photograph that inspired the design for the McGillycuddy House doors.
This is the photograph that inspired the design for the McGillycuddy House doors. (KOTA)
Published: Jan. 20, 2020 at 6:33 PM CST
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Built in 1887, Historic Rapid City bought the Valentine McGillycuddy home in 2011.

With plans to restore it to its original design, the latest installment includes custom front doors.

Taking hours to replicate, these doors were created based on photos discovered in an old album.

On Monday, workers from Commercial Door & Specialties attached the duplicated doors, which can now be seen off of Rushmore Road.

"We do have historic homes in Rapid City but this is the only one that is going to be open to the public, so that we can do programs, tell our history about that, tell the history of Valentine, and also our Native American history as it applies to Rapid City and the area, and we're here to tell the story," said Jean Kessloff, president of Historic Rapid City.

Kessloff said a grant from Deadwood's historic preservation program is helping with this restoration project.

As a construction worker himself, Jeff Nelsen now teaches geometry construction and uses the McGillycuddy House as a teaching tool.

"Coming into a project like this presents them with situations that they don't normally encounter in a classroom or shop setting, not everything in a 140 year old building is level or plum or square, and so the problem solving they get to experience here is really valuable," said Jeff Nelsen, teacher at Rapid City High School.

The Valentine McGillycuddy House was recently added to the State Register, which recognizes key sites in South Dakota history.

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