Pat Roseland had no idea when he bought the building at 910 Main Street in 2007 that it would take so long to revive it. But the building, which dates back to 1936 and includes several additions, was in worse shape than he initially thought.
Given the chance to do it over, though, and knowing what challenges the project has posed, would he still buy the building?
“Yeah, because I’m that way,” Roseland says with a smile. “I never want to be comfortable. I’ve always got to be on the edge.”
Over the years, 910 Main has been home to the White Elephant second-hand store, Rapid Electric, a flooring business and a vacuum business before becoming an X-rated movie theater and adult bookstore in 1974. The theater closed in the 1980s and sat empty, although the bookstore section remained open until the mid-2000s.
There were apartments upstairs but those, too, fell into disrepair over time.
“When I bought it, the upstairs was full of pigeons,” dead and live, Roseland said. Feral cats were living in the abandoned main floor. “I still bought it.”
The Monument X-Rated Theater was in pretty rough shape in 2007.
When Patrick Roseland ran out of room in home to display his ever-growing art collection, he decided to share it with the world. Not to sell it, but to put the art on display for people to enjoy for free. He also wanted to use his personal collection of historic Rapid City-related art as a attraction where other local artists could showcase and sell their art with the help of exposure that Roseland's museum-like venue would bring. His dream was to provide a unique gift to the people of Rapid City and the Art Community of the Black Hills that would display the rich History and Heritage of the area.
However, that was going to require finding the perfect building. Well, he found the perfect location.
The Building has come a long way, as Patrick's dream has finally been realized after years of hard work. Rapid River Gallery is now a reality. Stop in and see us!
The front facade as it appears today.
The front facade before reconstruction.
The middle section of the gallery displays the work of local artists, for sale.
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