Thursday, February 7, 2019

LETTERS FROM LCHS BOARD MEMBERS

Re:  McGovern Hill Issue

From Lynn Nammynga - Long serving  LCHS Board Member and former Historic Preservation Officer
Like a slow metastasizing cancer, Deadwood is gradually losing its historic character and community to big money and gambling. On December 13th the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission voted 5 to 2 to allow a mountain viewshed to be torn away to build one 8 story and two 7 story “chalets” on the side of McGovern hill overlooking historic Deadwood. This Mountain Grand project consists of selling these virtually inaccessible time share units and renting them out during the balance of the year.
This desecration of another mountain side in Deadwood gives permission to other gambling properties that in the past have asked to tear down mountainsides behind their casinos. H.P. has largely denied these requests. I question why the Commissioners have now decided it’s somehow okay. You can bet that other casinos will jump at the opportunity, and their lawyers will now have no trouble getting it done.
 With large numbers of vacant homes, 40+ illegal airb&b’s, no grocery store, no senior center, the grade school and town losing population, Deadwood has changed greatly since I moved here 25 years ago.  What the town does has to offer residents are its history and the surrounding beauty, now under attack.  Already Deadwood’s historical designation is listed as “threatened,” a fact that does not seem to bother most of our H.P. Commissioners.  Maybe it’s time to just pull the shades and close the door on our historical town and turn it over to the big box casinos.

From Donna Watson - Long serving LCHS Board Member and current Vice President
On December 13th the members of the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission (5/2) set aside precedent and their oaths of office to allow Deadwood Mountain Grand to build three sets of time share units (“chalets”) seven and eight stories high on the steep side of McGovern Hill, which happens to look down upon a portion of historic Deadwood. In past years other gaming resorts in town have requested permission to tear down hillsides above their establishments to create greater space, but have generally been denied. As a resident of Deadwood I can only wonder what prompted these stewards of our town’s historic preservation to turn their backs on precedent and practicality to allow this debacle. I fear there’s something rotten in the “state” of Deadwood. 



Announcement about McGovern Hill

On December 12, 2018, the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission voted that the Mountain Grand Chalets project covering McGovern Hill would “encroach upon, damage, or destroy any historic property included in the national register of historic places or the state register of historic places” in Deadwood.

Then, the Historic Preservation Commission voted 5/2 to approve building 3 to 4 seven-stories high condominiums across the top of McGovern Hill in Deadwood. This will have a significant adverse effect on Deadwood, since McGovern Hill is an historic focal point in the downtown area.  No historic photos show buildings on the hill

If you think this decision jeopardizes our physical history and historical views, please contact the state office:

Jay D. Vogt
State Historic Preservation Officer
900 Governors Dr.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3458

And the Deadwood Historic Preservation Office:

Kevin Kuchenbecker
Historic Preservation Officer
108 Sherman Street
Deadwood SD 57732
Phone: 605 -578-2082