Homestead Rest Area & Visitor Center

Junction City, South Dakota

The Homestead Visitor Center and Rest Area was driven by a desire to engage visitors with the pioneering heritage of South Dakota, and the traditional agrarian forms of early homesteading. While the original structure, erected in the 70s, was torn down to welcome new construction, the site continues to welcome weary travelers entering the State via Interstate 29 near its border with Iowa. With a clean slate for the building’s design, the organization of the 6,000 SF project simplifies the task of Travel Councilors and tourism promotion, while paying homage to the State’s history and site’s existing tipi (teepee); one of nine pre-stressed concrete lodgepole structures positioned throughout the State and designed by South Dakota architect, Walt Whitwam. As one of the State’s most frequented rest stops – at times greeting upwards of 96,600 visitors per year – the Homestead Visitor Center and Rest Area’s impact is far and wide. Today, this popular pit stop is a re-inspired destination with newly defined spaces to greet visitors, connect tourists to events and activities, promote holistic wellness, and provide education in the realm of historic connection and storytelling.

Completion Date


"We’re beyond thrilled to be working on this project with you and the whole JLG team, you all have been beyond amazing to work with. Thank you for your brilliant creative approach and your willingness to be flexible, both with us and with our new exhibits vendor.”
– Wanda Goodman, Department of Tourism