Alonzo Ward Hotel

A historic view of the Alonzo Ward Hotel.

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Known Name(s)

Alonzo Ward Hotel


S. Main St. Aberdeen, SD

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The Alonzo Ward Hotel at 104 S. Main Street is a six-story brown-brick commercial building with Classical and Art Deco style influences, built in 1928. It has elaborate patterned brick and terra cotta entrance surrounds on the two-story base, multiple storefronts, north and east entrances, simple brick upper stories, and a cornice with chevron-patterned brickwork. 

Detailed History

City Directories indicate that Alonzo Ward had a hotel, grill and bar, and coffee shop at 104 S. Main St. Today, The Ward condos and apts are at this location.


Alonzo Ward, the owner-proprietor of the Ward Hotel, came to Aberdeen from Iowa in 1884. Ward began his business activities in the city with a lunch room. He built a hotel in 1894 that was designed by Sioux Falls architect Joseph Schwarz; that structure burned down in 1926.


The current 1928 building was designed by the St. Paul architectural firm of F.H. Ellerbe Associates. Among the guests who stayed in the 120 (or 130) room hotel were President William Taft, Senator Robert Taft, Chief Justice Earl Warren, singer Marion Anderson, pilot Colonel Billy Mitchell, baseball Manager Billy Martin, and opera singer, Kirsten Flagstad. 


In 1935, the first radio station in the area began broadcasting from the sixth floor. In 1964, the Ward family sold the hotel and it has changed ownership multiple times in the years since. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 as part of the Aberdeen Commercial Historic District


Bibliography: Aberdeen Commercial Historic District National Register nomination; R.L. Polk's Aberdeen City Directories from 1950 to 1956, South Dakota State Archives, Pierre; Beverly J. Farmen, The Historic Alonzo Ward Hotel (booklet), Dacotah Prairie Museum, Aberdeen.

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