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.