Corn Palace IV

The Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce formed a committee about a year ago to study the future of the Corn Palace.

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Chamber Board President Doug Dailey will discuss the committee’s recommendations on the next 20 years for the Corn Palace and surrounding area. Dailey said Sunday part of the report will focus on the need to expand the venerated local building or build a fourth Palace on the Prairie.

The first Corn Palace opened in 1892, with the second version opening in 1905. The present Corn Palace opened in 1921, although the recognizable design evolved until it added the domes and spires we now see in 1937.

The Corn Palace doesn’t have the seating needed for state basketball tourneys, Mitchell was told in the mid-2000s, and other events are being lost for a lack of space and seating. Do we need a fourth generation Corn Palace?

And it plans for one compete or interfere with the proposed community center on the DWU campus that the city, Avera Queen of Peace and the college would create? Dailey says no.

16 thoughts on “Corn Palace IV

  1. Sure, tear it down and put up a new basketball complex and call it the NEW Corn Palace. Remember when NEW Coke bombed? The visitors will pass on by probably thinking, “They used to have a historic building in Mitchell – the Corn Palace, but they replaced it with a “basketball court”. All too often these search committees are long on good intentions, but short on good sense. PROTECT THE PALACE!

  2. Never understood the claim the Palace was a historic building, being as the outside changes every year. Why not build a new Palace, that maintains the outside appearance of the present palace, with the onion domes and the new panels every year, but better configure the inside for tourism in the summer and sports activities the rest of the year. Mitchell has the best location in the state for basketball and volleyball tournaments – easy driving distance for most and plenty of motel rooms.

  3. The outside of the Palace has been changed every year from the beginning. How long do you think grains and corn would last if they didn’t do that? That was the whole point of the Corn Palace. It was not built to be a sports venu. Protect the Palace!

  4. Whatever is decided regarding the Palace, I think it would be good to consider incorporating adjacent development to possibly include a community center and a plaza — a town square, around which there could be great potential for development as well as an improved focal center for Mitchell.
    Clearly the preliminary planning is consistent with keeping the Corn Palace as our brand and with forward thinking, Mitchell can refine its tourist business to include agri-tourism.
    Done right, this investment could increase the tax base and help Mitchell grow. Good for Mitchell and the region.

  5. Maybe there’s a way to treat the ears with a fire retardant so the murals can last longer? Thoughts?

  6. let’s hope we don’t get into trouble over this one? The downtown area is a historic district and the Palace a national landmark- so let’s work the process- thru the historic preservation committee and hearings for the change to occur- let’s not make this a deal like the Corn Palace signage that was ram rodded down our throat due to Mayor Louie and Schilling his sidekick. We probably do need a new palace and there is nothing wrong with that idea but don’t forget the beautiful part of a design the panels of corn that adorn the building must be kept. This is a good time for all of us to learn a bit more about historic preservation and what that means for future generations.

  7. To Protect the palace,
    New Coke’s taste was terrible. If they were talking about changing the exterior to plastic corn and grasses your point would be valid. The natural art on the outside is what draws the visitors and if you don’t keep it a sports venue/ concert auditorium inside how will you pay for upkeep and keep admission free?

    To Mark,
    Great open minded thinking!

  8. Well said Mark. If ‘protect the palace’ had his way we would simply put a wall around the city hope we never change. Listen to the dialogue put forth by the chamber, there are good reasons to start looking at the future with a 90 year old building. Many of the historical features of the building are covered by the parts that have all been replaced within the last 20 years such as the domes, the sign, the light bulbs, the corn, the grass etc. Fact is, the city cannot afford a two sports arenas and the current corn palace is unable to meed the needs of its residents and surrounding communities that rely on it as a sports venue. We can do nothing and tourism numbers will drop off, revenue will go down, and tourists will continue to express their desire for MORE of something. The committee is on the right track and we are talking about a 20 year plan here. This is our childrens corn palace and I feel someone should ask them what they think of the palace. I love the idea of the plaza across the street, however, I think it would be a mistake to close the current palace to build new. That would be a painful 2-3 years unless we could still capture the dollars during the build. Having said that the new palace still needs to be on or near mainstreet proper. Once done, we could give the old palace to the ‘protect the palace’ people and they will then be able to make millions of dollard making a go of a 100 year old plus building with nothing to do inside.

  9. Mark, great idea. Have long been concerned over city’s tendency to support ideas that drain from Mitchell’s center, thereby depleting the activity supporting downtown and its merchants. Your idea would preserve what IS working along with improvements adding vitality to downtown.
    Living downtown, I see every day those walking the length/breadth of Main, wondering aloud why there are so few ‘live’ businesses, why vacancies are called ‘historic downtown’. Why on Sunday nothing is open, when it is one of the biggest travel days for tourists? Where, they wonder, is the REAL Native American art rather than the ‘made in Taiwan’ chatchkies passed off as souvenirs? Where is the nearby restaurant offering food or a good coffee? Empty lots. Empty buildings.
    The busloads of tourists/students who stop to see the CP and grab lunch? Where can they go? (Perfect location for same is the vacant Doll House museum. Castles and Palaces, perfect.) A convenience store as the only option misses serving those needs for families/children/teenagers. A ‘saloon’ or sports bar misses the mark.
    On another issue: Focus 2020’s idea to further skew traffic away from central Mitchell with still yet another ‘rec’ center to the south end of town is ‘off-focus’ for downtown and hugely flawed. Resulting activity for such a location helps to direct ancillary traffic to chains, WalMart etc.
    Noted that the Avera pres cited the heat bill as justification for demolishing an 80-yr old, serviceable, well utilized building. Imagine the heat bill on a still larger building, UNDER utilized because…once again …the needs of targeted users have not been considered nor anticipated.
    Did anyone poll the existing users of DWU facilities, Avera facilities, Mitchell Rec facilities? Are there marketing figures showing research into the need for such a facility?
    Look at the fiasco that has happened with the moving of the Oscar Howe Art Center out to combine with the Discovery Museum. Great facility. Zilch traffic, fewer programs because of lesser budgets, etceteraetcetera….
    It’s all LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! Downtown is the central hub of Mitchell. It must be protected as such or the whole of the ‘structure’ of Mitchell becomes fractured.
    And…Thanks for listening!

  10. Does the Daily Republic have access to the general concept aerial view presented to the City Council? It’s mighty hard to see on the video version. Might be interesting to peruse if you can add a link to an online version.

    And, yes, we all must understand it’s just a very vague conceptual drawing and nothing specifically proposed or final…but good to ponder nonetheless.

  11. I think it should be done for 2 reasons:
    1)The current building is old and cost the city alot of money to operate. Over the next 12-15 years its only gonna cost more. When does the structure itself start to deteriate?
    2)The city needs a new and larger building to grow its taxes. We can do that with a new larger, better CP. It will be great for everyone.

    To the nay sayers who dont want to this or a new events center, its time to get on board because if we do nothing or infrastructure in Mitchell will gone the tubes! No new revenue means no new streets!

  12. All good, valid points here. There probably is a common ground where the whole issue can be worked out I guess. Lots of good ideas and suggestions.

  13. Let us not forget the reason we decided not to build- mostly a raise in our taxes. I’m all for it if, we can do it fiscally responsibly. there supposably is a “chest” that is getting 750K every year so that once the council members join the 21st century and get out of the good ol boy erathey can build something. Use the entire block,move city hall and make an arena that will sit 5000. Invite the neighborring counties to help fund it so that we can be proud of the CP and it’s purpose. Most of all with some forward thinking I beleive it can be done without raising taxes!

  14. man you are a piece of real work – “protect the palace people” what segment is that charlie? It is wrong to label people and as usual you are not thinking while you type on your keyboard- otherwise what part of your anatomy did you pull that one from?

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