Homestake Opera House

The Homestake Opera House, located in Lead, South Dakota, was completed in 1914. It has survived two major fires that have necessitated various restoration efforts. 

Installation Methods

The installation of the STEP Warmfloor heating mats was carried out with careful consideration to avoid any disruptions to the historical elements of the building.  The method involved laying the mats directly beneath the floor surfaces, which was both non-invasive and effective in maintaining the building’s original features.

Power House

The radiant heating system is powered by the building’s existing electrical infrastructure. This integration leverages the available resources without the need for extensive modifications or additional installations.

Indoor Temperature Settings

The system is designed to maintain a consistent temperature that is suitable for both the preservation of the historic building and the comfort of its occupants during events.

Heating System

The selected heating solution for the opera house was the STEP Warmfloor heating mats. This system was chosen over a traditional boiler-based system due to its ease of installation, lower cost of operation, and minimal impact on the building’s structure. 
The heating mats are designed to provide even heat distribution across the floor area, enhancing the comfort of the space without compromising the integrity of the building’s historic architecture.

Energy Efficiency

The electric radiant floor system uses less energy compared to conventional heating systems, which contributes to lower operational costs.

Radiant heating provides an efficient method of heat distribution, ensuring that heat is evenly spread across the surface area and reducing the loss of heat.

The initial investment of $100,000 for the radiant heating system is significantly lower than what would have been required for installing and running a traditional heating system, offering long-term savings.


The implementation of electric radiant heating in the Homestake Opera House is a prime example of how modern technology can be integrated with historic preservation. This project not only enhances the building’s functional use but also ensures that it remains a cornerstone of the community in Lead, South Dakota. 
The careful selection of a heating system, materials, and installation methods has resulted in a sustainable, cost-effective solution that respects the opera house’s architectural integrity.