The firm of SDS Architects, Inc. was founded in 1953 by architect Grant Paul.
During this decade architectural plans were hand drafted and drawings
were really a work of art. The firm’s design projects were numerous and
included the White House Motel in Eau Claire and several area schools
such as Locust Lane Elementary and Putnam Heights in Eau Claire, and
Chetek Elementary School.
In 1960 the firm built the Paul-Hallbeck-Anderson office building overlooking the
Chippewa River in southwest Eau Claire. Projects during this decade included a
significant number of school designs, health care projects, UW-Stout's Jarvis Hall
and Applied Science building, and a corporate headquarters for Phillips Plastics
The firm continued its growth in the 1970s and kept busy with
wide-ranging projects including UW-Eau Claire’s Hibbard Humanities
Hall, the American National Bank, Mason Shoe, healthcare projects,
corporate offices, and a new YMCA in Chippewa Falls.
This decade brought many new technologies and marked the last
decade of hand drafting. Projects during this decade included
many office facilities, the UW-Stout Memorial Student Center,
Cray Research, motels, and manufacturing facilities.
Long-time employees and associates Pete Seymour, Gary Davis, and Joe
Seymour assumed ownership of the firm and the name was changed to
Seymour Davis Seymour in 1984. In 1983, SDS Architects moved to a
renovated space at 205 N. Dewey Street in Eau Claire which would
be their home for the next 25 years.
To reflect the growth of the architectural practice, increase employee
stock-ownership, and the start of a structured long-term ownership transition
plan, the corporation’s name was changed to SDS Architects, Inc. in 1994.
The decade of the 90s included projects at many University of
Wisconsin campuses, K-12 School projects, office projects, significant
manufacturing facilities, a high-end retailer, Chippewa Valley Technical
College, and various YMCA projects.
At the time, the term “Millennium” might have seemed overused,
but the Millennium Hall project (later renamed for the late
Chancellor Sorensen) kicked off the millennium for UW-Stout. SDS
Projects which were part of Eau Claire’s downtown revitalization
included Phoenix Park and the Chamber building. Other university,
technical college, K-12, car dealerships, and YMCAs were designed
by SDS Architects, Inc.
This decade’s stand-out projects (so far) feature more downtown revitalization
projects, including a new home for Volume One (at SDS’s former 205 N. Dewey
address made possible by SDS’s move to 7 South Dewey) and the Oxbow Hotel
and Lakely. There were several notable K-12 projects in Menomonie, Ashland
and Bloomer (among others), and higher ed projects for University of
Wisconsin (La Crosse, Stevens Point and Eau Claire) and Wisconsin
Technical School projects, as well.