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July 10, 2014 04:56 PM

Renovation Underway At Corn Palace

Mitchell, SD

The iconic dome and turrets at the world's only Corn Palace are gone from the Mitchell landmark.

It's a major renovation that's catching a lot of people by surprise, and it's unknown exactly how long the iconic domes will stay off the Corn Palace.

The skyline is noticeably empty above Main Street in Mitchell as three large domes and turrets now sit firmly on the ground.

Workers are stripping the iconic architecture before shipping them to Minneapolis to be restored. They'll come back lit from the inside by colorful LED lights. Interim Public Works Director Terry Johnson says the dome removal is the most visible update.

"It looks like more of a vacant building but it will be neat once this whole process is done," Johnson said.

The multi-million dollar renovation began last month, at the peak of tourism season that attracts an estimated 200,000 visitors each year. Among them, are Susan VanLue and Paula Rowe from Missouri.

"When we came down the street we could definitely see where it was," Paula Row said, of Missouri. "It took a while to figure out what that was that they were working on. I didn't recognize what those shapes were at first."

"I was kind of disappointed because it was not up like you're expecting it to be," Susan VanLue said, of Missouri.

SU: This is hardly the first time the dome has been taken down. The last time was in 2002.

"I feel sad, but I know that there is better yet to come," Jessica Burns said, a resident of Mitchell. 

Johnson says he's not sure how long the dome will be missing from the Corn Palace but says the $7.2 million makeover is expected to wrap up in March.

The work at the front of the main entrance has moved the box office to a temporary side entrance during the renovation.

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  • Mitchell, SD
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