Ellsworth Air Force Base, Mess Hall & Administration Building, 1301 Ellsworth Street, Blackhawk, Meade County, SD
Significance: The Mess Hall and Administration Building (Building No. 1211) is one of at least four men's mess halls constructed at the base during the early 1950s; all are of a similar configuration, and are probably of standard Strategic Air Command design. The buildings were constructed simultaneously with and adjacent to groups of SAC-type airmen dormitories. All were remodeled for new functions as central replacement dining facilities were constructed. This is one of two such buildings constructed in 1951-52 by the H&B Construction Company, a joint venture of two Rapid City construction firms. The mess halls were built next to a block of seventeen dormitory-style airmen's barracks (1951), together providing the base with modern housing to supplement its World War II era barracks. It represents Ellsworth's significant growth in both size and function during the Cold War era. Ellsworth, one of the Air Force's major bomber bases at that time, served as a repository of a larger portion of the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal, and became home to a nuclear missile wing.
Survey number: HABS SD-21-P
Building/structure dates: 1952 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: ca. 1986 Subsequent Work