The Museum of Visual Materials was once an unattractive building scheduled to be torn down. If stop by the museum, you will notice in the 1880′s picture that the building had windows under what are now our existing windows. What is currently the first floor of the museum use to be the second floor in the late 1800′s. Our facility being in the bottom of a valley would have water and flooding issues. Fill dirt was brought in and covered up the lower level of our building. the key stones of the old bricked over windows can still be seen peaking up out of the ground.
The outside of our building is surround by South Dakota’s natural beauty. All of grounds are covered by native South Dakota plants and grasses. Colorful flowers make an awesome backdrop for senior or wedding pictures.
The sculpture “Spirit of Energy“, by Karen Crain is a allegorical figure that represents the three natural energy resources. She holds the sun high above her head as the wind blows her hair and garment behind her. Water pours from her other hand representing the third energy source. This strong female figure stands on a globe, echoing humanity’s use of the earth’s natural resources. The statue is a perfect representation of who Dr. Rose Faithe, the founder of the Museum of Visual Materials, was as a person and a humanitarian.
The native plants and grasses that surround our building provides a beautiful entrance to our facility. The drought tolerant vegetation is use to cold winters and dry summers making it sustainable to our environment. It also provides wild life such as bees and butterflies with the things that they need to survive.
The rain garden allows the landscaping to use natural rain waters from the roof of our facility. When it rains the plants create a natural filter for the rain water as it travels down into a holding reservoir. Drainage tile runs throughout the grounds, which allows the plants to take the water from the reservoir as it needs it. This allows us to cut back on our water bill and time since we don’t have to use our water to replenish the plants.
The roof supports 40 photo-voltaic panels or solar panels. At this point, we are the only building in Sioux Falls that uses solar energy to create electricity. Creating about 13% of our energy, these panels allow us to save on electricity by using less from our power provider.
The roof of our facility is covered in a white rubber sheeting which lies on top of a thick expansion foam for insulating our roof. The white rubber creates reflection instead of absorption. This helps keep our facility cool even when the hot sun beats down on the building.
Quartzite stone provides a beautiful hard scape to go along with our landscape and quartzite building. As you may know, quartzite is a very common material around falls park. By using natural quartzite stone from a local quarry, we can create a natural surrounding that is close to home. The hard scape artist chiseled the stones to create a beautiful rough texture appeal to the rock to make it more natural.
Buffalo grass carpets the back of the facility. This grass is very sustainable to South Dakota’s environment and doesn’t grow at a very rapid rate allowing us to cut back on our mowing. When we do mow the back, we use an electric mower which cuts back on dangerous emissions.
Do you drive a hybrid? We have a front row parking spot just for you! We also provide a rack for bike commuters as well as a trolley stop for shuttles around downtown Sioux Falls.