Good Question: Why Is It Called the "Battery Building"?

Most folks know that part of the new casino is going into the old Battery Building. And that's spurred one of our viewers to ask a "Good Question" about it.

With all this talk about the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino moving into the old Battery Building, Bev Van Der Weide wanted to know a little bit more about the building, like what used to be there.

It's a good question, so we dug a little deeper.

Construction on the Battery Building began in 1905, and was finished by 1906, but it wasn't known as the Battery Building back then.

"The E.C. Simmons Company was in that building from 1906, from the time it was built until 1932 when the company just kind of dissolved. Then as for the rest of the history of the building, off and on the building sat empty," said Tom Munson, Sioux City Public Museum Archival Clerk.

But in 1944, the Sioux City Battery Company moved in. The business made Rayovac batteries. It was only there for 12 years before the building was vacant once again, yet that name "The Battery Building" stuck with Sioux City.

"I think the way human memory works out, there's kind of that idea that the ideal post World War II era, and that's exactly when a lot of older people today were growing up today and came into their adulthood from that era from 1944-1956 and I think that's some of the older people that are around today, that was what they knew it as when they were growing up," Munson said.

Architecturally, Munson says the building isn't your average building.

"It's on a very odd sized, oddly shaped piece of land. It's not a square building. You do have square facades on the north, south and east sides but the west side, is kind of seemingly misshapen because of how Perry Creek used to flow through that area," he explained.

Bomgaars was the most recent owners of the building before it was sold to Sioux City Entertainment to form part of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Munson says he's excited the building was saved.

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