Once a host to peep shows, an adult novelty shop and an X-rated theater, the north side of the 900 block of Main Street in downtown Rapid City has a seedy past.
But looking at it now, one would never know it, due to a redemption project undertaken by a Rapid City man with a love of history and a knack for collecting local art.
These days, the block is a sparkling example of urban revitalization, with a crisp new facade, loft apartments with balconies over the sidewalk, and new businesses operating inside.
Patrick Roseland, a certified anesthetist at Rapid City Regional Hospital, bought the building in 2007 and finished a complete remodel about three months ago.
That block of Main Street now features Roseland's business that peddles historic memorabilia and works by local artists; another that features high-end frames and knitting fibers; and a pet shop selling supplies and locally raised cockatiels.
Bully Blends Coffee & Tea Shop opened its doors next to Roseland's building about two years ago, offering a cornerstone for future shops to build on.
"This block has been kind of unattractive for a while," said Bully Blends manager Jaralei Tufte. "It's just been neglected mostly."
When Roseland bought the building, he opted to renovate the upstairs as a single apartment for himself and open a street-level studio for his overflowing collection of area art from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
"They just painted what they saw, the Alex Johnson or street scenes downtown," Roseland said. "I wanted a place downtown for people to see the art I collected."
Opened in 1974, the adult theater closed its doors in the 1980s and sat vacant, but the novelty shop remained open until around 2005. All three adults shops were housed at 910 Main St.
Roseland said that after buying the building, he spent the first few years kicking out feral cats, cleaning and gutting the building. But the economy dipped and he couldn't foot the bill on his own. So he decided to renovated the building to include three storefronts and three upstairs apartments.
"I just decided that I couldn't do it on my own," he said.
Once Roseland finished the remodel, aside from the upstairs apartments, he opened Rapid River Gallery in the section of the building that housed the novelty shop. That section now features his own art collection and other works from local artists.
Next door, where the peep show had been, Kim Oslund opened Framing, Fibers and High-End Curiosities on May 1. She's been doing custom framing for the past 25 years.
The fiber part of the shop offers locally spun yarn products, spinning wool, needles, patterns, and knitting classes. And the curiosities? Well, that's Oslund's addiction to vintage goods, like classic Vespa scooters.
"The curiosity is a passion of mine," she said. "I just have an addiction to curiosities."
As for the former peep show, Oslund said when she tells patrons where she's located, some know what section of the show her shop sits but won't admit to ever being there.
"I have people that come in with lots of stories," she added. "They either worked there or played there."
Despite the building's past, Oslund is exited to be on the block, where she said there's something to do from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., when Murphy's Pub and Grill across the street lets out.
"I'm really proud of Pat Roseland for staying on target and recreating the block," she said, adding the three shops operate with a synergistic approach to knowing what each has to offer. "It's fun to take part."
Barbara Paur relocated Mount Rushmore Birds and Paws Pet Bakery in the building's third shop, which also opened in May.
"The location where I am used to be the X-rated movie theater," Paur said. "For the last few years, it had been boarded up and empty."
Her business has been in various sites downtown for the past 12 years, but now has a large window that four colorful Macaw parrots gaze through as they dance about their hanging perches.
Paur said she knows the perverted history of the building, but has also yet to find anyone who will admit to taking part.
"So far, I have never met anybody that will admit to have been in them," she said. "Nobody will fess up."