The Alliance for Historic Wyoming has created a Watchlist for endangered buildings and landscapes. We will update this frequently with the help of you, our subscribers and members.We are a statewide organization and we need your help to know what's is going on in your community. If a building or landscape in your community is threatened please call 307-333-3508 or submit your concern HERE.
Name: Sigma Phi Epsilon house and the Tobin House
History: Both houses were designed by architect Wilbur Hitchcock in 1930. Sigma Phi Epsilon was locally founded in 1943, and re-founded in 1995. The Tobin House was the Pi Beta Phi house until 2013 when the university bought the structure.
Status: These two houses on Sorority and Fraternity Row were recently put on the list of possible sites for a new UW dormitory. On November 7th, at the Trustees' facilities committee meeting, UW Trustee John McKinley said his "board doesn't have any intent to proceed with tearing down the buildings on Fraternity and Sorority Row."
Name: Cottage in the Rainsford Historic District
History: The Rainsford Historic District includes houses built between 1885 and the 1930s. Although the district is known best for its architect-designed homes of Cattle Barons, it also includes cottages built for Union Pacific Railroad employees. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Status: Saved. Thanks to an Alliance for Historic Wyoming member, we were informed about an illegal demolition of a cottage in the Rainsford District. The Board of Adjustment agreed with the Cheyenne Preservation Board's decision to deny demolition. Kudos to the Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board!
Name: Shawnee Standard School Building
History: The school was built in 1916-17 in Shawnee, Wyoming, and was used until 1986. “Standard School” was a designation given by the State of Wyoming to elementary schools in the early 20th century that met certain standards of design.
Status: Saved! Recently, members of the community have come together to create Friends of the Old Shawnee School. The property is now under their organization, and they are in the progress of restoring the building to it’s original details. Do you have a story or memory about this building? Share it with us!
Name: Downtown Shoshoni, Wyoming
History: Shoshoni was one of the railroad towns that sprouted up in the early 1900s, with the population reaching up to 2,000 people. The town is located on the historic Yellowstone Highway, and at one point was a major tourist stop. In the 1970s, Shoshoni’s downtown was ravaged by a fire damaging the interiors of multiple structures.
Status: Demolished. In August, we were informed that there were plans to demolish the downtown area. The demolition was postponed for several months, until the town filed the appropriate forms.
Name: Emmanuel Apostolic Temple (Scandinavian Lutheran Church)
History: These populations created The First Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church on August 13th, 1884, conducting services in Scandinavian languages. After the turn of the 20th century, the church community began to further integrate into the rest of Laramie. In 1906, services transitioned from Scandinavian languages to English. This integration and transition led to the expansion of the congregation. In 1925, the congregation moved to a new location on 7th Street between Ivinson and University Avenues to provide better access for their larger congregation.
Status: Though the original congregation left in the early twentieth century, the building continues to be a memento of the West Side’s ethnic history. It has been unoccupied for the last 15+ years, and maintenance is necessary for the continued survival of this pre-1890 church.
Name: The Cooper House
History: The Cooper Mansion is architecturally significant in Laramie and the entire state of Wyoming for its unique combination of two early 20th century period-revival styles, Mission Revival, based on the architecture of California missions, and Pueblo Revival, based on Pueblo-Indian building traditions in New Mexico.
Status: The Cooper House has been identified as one of the possible locations for UW’s new dormitories. The community was made aware of this decision in an article in the Laramie Boomerang. There was a public meeting with the UW Housing Task Force on June 17th, there was a great turn out during the public comment section of the meeting. The Alliance for Historic Wyoming is gathering supporters with a petition, sign your name HERE.
Name: Nolan Chevrolet Building
History: Nolan Chevrolet was one of the first Chevrolet dealerships in the vicinity of the Yellowstone Highway which connected Casper with Yellowstone Park. Over time, the car dealership building was adjoined to the historic 1921 fire station.
Status: The Casper Historic Preservation Commission is currently trying to save the building. Commission Chair Connie Thompson says, "The Nolan Chevrolet building has the potential to be repurposed, as it has a sound structure. It also is an integral part of Casper's history. The demolition of this building at 322 David St. would be a great loss to the community as it is a large building with a lot of potential."
Name: Acme Power Plant
History: The Acme Power Plant was constructed in 1910 on the banks of the Tongue River outside of Sheridan, Wyoming. It provided power to the local mines, coal camps, and the City of Sheridan until 1976.
Status: The property was purchased by Sheridan County Conservation District in 2017 with cooperation of the Sheridan Community Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy. Remediation of the site is currently underway; the future of the historic building is still uncertain.
Name: Wells Fargo Tower
History: The Wyoming National Bank in downtown Casper celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1964 with a modern building complex unlike any in Wyoming. The bank was designed by Denver architect Charles Deaton, who also designed the so-called “Jetson House” west of Denver, which was featured in Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper.
Status: In 2016, calling the tower a “public hazard,” Wells Fargo removed its signs from the top and announced plans to demolish the tower the following spring. Following an outcry from the City and historic preservation groups, the bank later reversed its decision, announcing that it would save and restore what has become one of Casper’s best known landmarks. The property is currently for sale, and we hope it continues to be preserved.