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Laramie

 

Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
(307) 777-8594

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  • Bath Row Historic District

     

     
     

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    The Bath Row Historic District includes four buildings constructed in 1883. These structures were built by the Bath family, important contributors to Laramie’s early settlement period. Known for their fine stone buildings and business activities, the Baths were involved in merchandising, hotel ownership, early ranching, and the construction and rental of housing for railroad workers. This, in a town with a population of only 2,000 at that time, makes it easy to understand just how much power they wielded. These buildings are excellent examples of a type, period, and method of construction used in Laramie’s early settlement period, which was in large part determined by the Baths who set the standards upon which much of the local building traditions were based. Constructed as rental units for railroad workers, the stone structures are representative of the arrival and continuing influence of the transcontinental railroad in Wyoming.

    Though nine houses and a barn were initially constructed, only four retain integrity and serve to provide a clear example of Laramie’s early stone buildings. The others along the row demonstrate the personal tastes and trends which later became popular.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, May 08, 1986
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB519

     

  • Charles E. Blair House

     

     
     

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    The Charles E. Blair House is a local landmark located within the urban setting of Laramie. Constructed in 1911-1912, the architectural distinction of the Blair House lies in the fact that it is a well preserved example of a late Victorian house form, built a decade after Victorianism’s official “death”.

    The asymmetrical massing of the building, picturesque roofline, variety of textures and materials, classical motifs, and interior spatial organization earmark the building as a holdover from the Queen Anne style, which had remained popular throughout the state long after its abandonment elsewhere in the country. The Blair House is also representative in that its architect, William Redding & Son of Denver, Colorado, was brought in from out of state, a common occurrence at the time.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, October 31, 1980
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB139

     

  • Cooper Mansion

     

     
     

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    Designed by Laramie architect Wilbur Hitchcock and constructed in 1921, the Cooper Mansion blends the Mission style and the Pueblo style of architecture. The nominated area includes the mansion as well as a small 1 ½ story stuccoed brick building once used as a squash court-garage constructed in 1923 and also designed by Wilbur Hitchcock.

    The Cooper Mansion is historically and architecturally significant to both Albany County and the State of Wyoming. The mansion represents two significant periods in Wyoming history. As the Cooper family home the mansion serves as tangible evidence to the extent and character of British economic colonialism in the western United Stated during the late 19th century.

    Beginning in the 1870s many wealthy young men from Britain came to Wyoming and purchased huge tracts of land on which they sought to establish virtual empires. Collectively called the “Cattle Barons,” on the Laramie Plains, Frank Cooper was the leading member of the foreign-born contingent. Stylistically, the structure is significant because it represents Wyoming’s adaptation of the Mission and Pueblo styles in a 1920s residential building. As an interesting combination of styles, the Cooper Mansion is the only structure of its type in the state.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, August 08, 1983
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB350

     

  • Durlacher House

     

     
     

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    The Durlacher Residence is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A due to its association with community planning and development and is significant at the local level. The property signifies the importance of merchants living in the town and building large homes as a display of their wealth and influence.

    The presence of merchants was essential to the growth of Laramie, a town established in 1868 along the path of the Union Pacific Railroad. Simon Durlacher moved to Laramie shortly before the railroad arrived and established a clothing business. Durlacher became a prominent citizen and he and his family were well-known in Laramie’s business and social circles. The Durlacher Residence typifies the pattern of important Laramie citizens owning substantial homes and portraying their influence in the community. This residence, in its neighborhood setting, conveys the residential development pattern in the southern portion of the original plat during the late nineteenth century. It also remains as one of the most well preserved of this group of substantial, merchant-built homes and serves as a testament to the success of his business and the prominence of Durlacher’s family in the community.

    The Durlacher House is located within the Original Town plat of Laramie in what was one of the first residential neighborhood developments. The neighborhood is diverse and many of the homes from the period of significance remain. Commercial development has compromised parts of 3rd and 4th Streets west of the Durlacher Residence, but overall the residential streetscape and feeling of the house remain.

    The Durlacher Residence faces west on the corner of 5th and Custer Streets and sits on a medium sized lot and an alley way runs behind the house on the east side. The two-and-a-half story, Queen Anne style dwelling is roughly square in plan, but irregularly shaped. The first-story is composed of stuccoed brick, and the upper floors are frame construction sheathed with coursed wood shingles. A porch with original turned spindle posts wraps around the façade of the home to the north elevation, and there is a steeply pitched roof. The residence retains many of its original materials and features including the majority of the windows and exterior decorations. Although the floor plan has been altered and some of the features removed, the interior of the home also retains sufficient integrity.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, March 21, 2011
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB1500

     

  • East Side School

     

     
     

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    Through the education of the communities young people, including many state and local celebrities, and its use as a public meeting place, the East Side School has made a significant contribution to the development of the city of Laramie. Constructed in 1878 it is the oldest school building in the state of Wyoming. Architect Peter Hanson described the original building as a handsome one fitting into what architectural historians term the Second Eclectic Period (c. 1860-1930).

    In actuality, the period contained two main streams of design. The first related to a Gothic revival that evolved into a related Romanesque revival that was a spring board to the modern movement in architecture. The second main stream was more academic in character. Influenced by the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in Paris, its architecture was inspired by great periods of centuries past. The East Side School was inspired by the villa designs of rural northern Italy and introduced to America by way of England in the 1830s.

    By 1928 plans for a Gothic style addition to the school were complete. It would contain 67 rooms including a 5,635 square foot auditorium and a 5,310 square foot gymnasium. While the 1928 and a 1939 addition do not strictly adhere to the architectural style of the original 1878 building, sensitivity toward the original structure was demonstrated in the later additions.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, August 17, 1981
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB25

     

  • Fort Sanders Guardhouse

     

     
     

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    The Fort Sanders Guardhouse is the single substantially intact building remaining on the site of this military reservation erected in 1866 to protect and defend encroaching modern civilization in the Rocky Mountain West. Initially, Fort Sanders troops aided emigrants traveling the Lodgepole Trail. Fort Sanders troops also protected the Denver and Salt Lake stage line. In the post’s sixteen year existence its troops were involved in twenty major skirmishes with Indians, although no battles occurred on fort grounds. Since men garrisoned at Fort Sanders participated in General Custer’s military campaign of 1876, it seems likely some probably fell at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

    In 1867 the Union Pacific Railroad came onto the high plains of southern Wyoming. Surveyors and engineers were particularly vulnerable to Indian attack, and thus needed the aid of Fort Sanders troops. The establishment of Laramie City in the spring of 1868, situated about three miles north of the Fort Sanders post, prompted the construction of the guardhouse. As Laramie’s economy boomed desertion rates at Fort Sanders soared. Likewise, drunkenness and boisterousness were endemic among the troops stationed at Fort Sanders, and when the guardhouse was completed early in 1869 it was usually full.

    After completion of Fort D. A. Russell at Cheyenne late in 1868, the importance of Fort Sanders began to wane. The War Department maintained Fort Sanders until 1882, when the property and buildings were sold and the post vacated.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, May 01, 1980
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB147

     

  • Ivinson Mansion and Grounds

     

     
     

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    The Ivinson Mansion is significant for its association with two of the most prominent citizens in the history of Laramie and because it is the best surviving example in Laramie of Victorian architecture. The Ivinson home and carriage house were designed by W. E. Ware, a Salt Lake City architect. Construction began May 3, 1892 and when the house was completed by the end of that same year at a cost of approximately $40,000, it was probably the finest home in Laramie.

    Edward and Jane Ivinson came to Laramie in 1868. Mr. Ivinson worked as a mercantilist in the dry goods business. As a supply contractor, Ivinson planned to supply the camps along the Union Pacific Railroad which was in the process of being built. Very early in his Laramie business career Mr. Ivinson became a banker as well as a dry goods dealer. He also constructed much of the business block which now stands on Second Street between Ivinson and Grand Avenues. Jane Ivinson was instrumental in establishing the first school in Laramie in 1868. In addition to her work in education and Church related functions, Mrs. Ivinson helped to organize the first lodge for women in Laramie, the Rebekahs.

    The career of Edward Ivinson spanned a period of sixty years of Laramie’s history; that of his wife spanned forty-seven years. The political, economic and social history of Laramie, almost from its inception, contain the names of the Ivinsons. The Ivinson Mansion stands as a monument of local historic significance in that it reflects the careers of these two prominent citizens.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, February 23, 1972
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB100

     

  • John D. Conley House

     

     
     

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    The John D. Conley house is a two story Victorian dwelling of wooden frame construction built in 1888. It is significant for its association with the early development of the University of Wyoming, and the way in which it reflects the changing nature of the community of Laramie. John D. Conley was a member of the first faculty of the University of Wyoming.

    The University of Wyoming Circular of General Information for 1887-1888 (the first year of classes), described him as ''Secretary to the University, Instructor in Natural Philosophy, Instructor of Calligraphy, Professor of Geology and Chemistry, Instructor of Drawing, Professor of Agricultural Geology, Chemistry and Farm Accounts, as well as Vice President of the University. He was also the second highest paid officials at the University at that time.

    After the dismissal of President Hoyt in December 1890, Conley served as President (acting) until a new president was found in January 1891. Conley remained with the University until 1896. He was nominated as President in 1891, but did not receive the job. Before leaving Laramie, he sold the house to then President of the University of Wyoming, Elmer E. Smiley. The house served as the home of the Kappa Delta Society of the University in 1929 and 1930. Since that time, it has been a boarding house for students and a private residence.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, May 15, 1980
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB352

     

  • Laramie Downtown Historic District

     

     
     

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    The Laramie Downtown Historic District consists of ten and one half blocks of the original Union Pacific Railroad plat of Laramie. The District is almost exclusively comprised of two story brick commercial structures constructed between circa 1870 and 1938. There are ninety-five buildings and one structure; fifty-nine buildings are considered contributing as is the structure, a railroad pedestrian bridge. Also included are two churches, a 1920s Union Pacific Depot, two fraternal organization headquarters, three government buildings, and a former Carnegie library. Thirty-six buildings are listed as non-contributing or intrusive because they have suffered alterations which compromised their integrity or because they were constructed after 1938.

    The district does not demonstrate one specific style, but rather reflects a variety of late 19th century commercial trends in railroad communities. Buildings nearest the depot are oldest and reflect the late 19th century trend toward commercialism and density near the tracks. From the outset hotels, trading and general stores were the dominant types of buildings constructed. Buildings further north and east of the original downtown area were constructed in later years and are more likely to be free standing, such as churches, government buildings, and fraternal organizations.

    The Laramie Downtown Historic District is significant for its association with the representation of the arrival and impact of the Transcontinental Railroad in the west. The arrival of the railroad, established in southern Wyoming by the Union Pacific, insured the early growth and prosperity of Laramie and other important communities along the route.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, November 10, 1988
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB518

     

  • Lehman-Tunnell Mansion

     

     
     

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    The Lehman-Tunnell house is located at the corner of 7th Street and Grand Avenue in Laramie. The house, constructed in 1891, generally presents a Queen Anne appearance. This two and one half story brick house is architecturally one of the finest late 19th century homes still standing in Laramie. Constructed by Frank Cook, it is associated with the lives of persons significant in local history, especially Edward Lehman, a prominent pioneer merchant, and also embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Queen Anne and late Victorian style widely used in that period.

    Mr. Cook also constructed several other important buildings in Laramie such as the Ivinson Mansion, many other stylish homes and some commercial structures. The house is one of a very few remaining to represent the style and flamboyance of Laramie’s early history.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, November 08, 1982
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB525

     

  • Lincoln School

     

     
     

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    Lincoln School, built in 1924 and expanded in 1939 and 1953, is significant because of its direct association with the growth and importance of education in Laramie, Wyoming. Laramie, which served as a railhead for the Union Pacific Railroad, suffered under the typical lawlessness of a railroad town when it was first settled, but overcame its initial tempestuous beginnings to become a community known not only as the site of the University of Wyoming, but also as the site of one of Wyoming's most outstanding public school systems. T

    he block upon which Lincoln School sits was first used as a public school site in the early 1880s and represents the third site used for the public education of Laramie's children. Over the years, the compact, wood-sided building initially constructed on the block, known simply as West Side School, was transformed into Lincoln School, a brick building with its own small gymnasium and stage. Built on Laramie's west side, Lincoln School served a small, blue collar neighborhood, separated from the rest of the community by railroad tracks.

    During the period of significance, the Lincoln School was the sole neighborhood public facility located in the West Side neighborhood. It was used for vaccinations and health screenings, plays, dances, dinners, and as a polling site. Modest though Lincoln School was in contrast to Laramie's other grade schools, it became an institution on the town's West Side, the rich cultural and ethnic background of West Side residents reflected in its student body.

    Although the school was closed in 1978, it is now owned by the Lincoln Community Center Corporation, which is rehabilitating the property so that it can once again be a vital neighborhood hub with an education focus.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, December 05, 2003
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB1226

     

  • Old Main

     

     
     

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    On March 4, 1886, Governor Frances E. Warren of Wyoming Territory signed the act which authorized establishment of the University and appropriated $50,000 for construction of a building. The University of Wyoming’s oldest structure, known today as Old Main, occupied a prominent block in the center of Laramie.

    The builders of Old Main established an architectural tradition that others followed as the University grew. Most of the University structures are substantial native sandstone buildings that derive their limited ornamentation from “revival” architectural styles and are typical collegiate buildings. Yet Old Main’s façade expresses an eclectic architectural tradition common to other Wyoming structures built during the late nineteenth century. In an attempt to incorporate popular architectural styles of the day, architect Fred Hale of Denver drew upon the Romanesque Revival style for details such as the rock-faced surface articulation, the original tower, and the semicircular arches, while he also relied upon Chateauesque features as expressed in the steeply pitched roof, dormers with pinnacled gables, and linteled windows.

    This combination of styles gives Old Main a truly distinctive appearance within the state. Old Main is the only building on campus constructed during Wyoming’s territorial period, and one of only a handful of territorial institutional buildings left standing. This public building is an impressive structure which communicates the builder’s nineteenth century desire for stability and permanence.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, July 11, 1986
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB155

     

  • Snow Train Rolling Stock

     

     
     

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    Railroad Heritage Park’s Snow Train Rolling Stock is a static display illustrating the arrangement and typical components of snow trains that operated in Wyoming during the 1950s. Used to clear the tracks and keep trains moving, snow trains generally included the type of rolling stock comprising the Laramie train: a plow (wedge or rotary) to move the snow from the tracks; a locomotive to power the train; a tender to provide fuel for the locomotive; a bunk car to transport and support the crew involved in snow-clearing operations; and a caboose to serve as the command center for the train. All of the nominated rolling stock were manufactured for the Union Pacific Railroad or its subsidiaries and served on its lines.

     

     

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, May 08, 2013
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    AB2727

     

  • St. Matthew's Cathedral Close

     

     
     

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    St. Matthew’s Cathedral Close, constructed from 1892 to 1925, is named from the early custom of securing the privacy of the cathedral precincts by enclosing them within a wall, and comprises a square block in the center of downtown Laramie. The Close contains St. Matthew’s Cathedral, a massive stone Gothic Revival church; the Deanery, a two-story Victorian brick structure; Hunter Hall (Formerly Sherwood Hall); and the First World War Memorial Cross.

    The Close is a religious property deriving its primary significance from historic and architectural importance. It embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, and method of construction representative of a 19th century trend for buildings to reflect their use and the intentional influence of a group of English Ecclesiologists determined to promote construction of accurate Gothic parish churches as the only suitable structures for Christian worship. It is possibly Wyoming’ best example of Gothic Revival church architecture.

    Additionally, St. Matthew’s is associated with the powerful 19th century Episcopalian drive to exert a civilizing effect on the frontier through active missionary work in the west, where religion became a social thing and encouraged the development of well-ordered, civic-minded communities, nurtured strong community spirit, and accelerated social cohesion by providing a variety of family and community oriented social activities.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, April 12, 1984
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB158

     

  • St. Paul's Evangelical Church

     

     
     

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    In July of 1885, members of Laramie’s German community, which numbered about four hundred persons, met to discuss the possibility of forming a congregation, and securing the services of a minister to preach to them in their own language. The services of a minister, Rev. Johann Frank, were engaged, and the congregation took the name “St. Paulus Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Kirche.” Laramie’s Presbyterian Church was used as a meeting place until 1890, Wyoming’s year of statehood, when the cornerstone was laid for a new German church.

    The building was designed and constructed by a member of the congregation, George Berner. Completed a year later, at a cost of $5,000, St. Paul’s was the seventh church erected in Laramie, and the first German church in the state of Wyoming. St. Paul’s Church is the oldest remaining church in Laramie and is representative of the conservative influences exerted by religious groups in isolated western communities which made significant contributions to a trend toward permanent well ordered civic minded communities in temporary boom towns.

    St. Paul’s is associated with German immigrants who made significant contributions to patterns of settlement and growth by providing technical skills, business ability and cultural traditions. St. Paul’s was important within the community as a social and emotional outlet by providing members with a means of maintaining traditions and language well into the 20th century.

    The building itself embodies the distinctive characteristics of type period and method of construction as a substantial representation of Lutheran Church architecture adapted to one community’s needs and wants.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, November 25, 1983
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB526

     

  • Union Pacific Athletic Club (Gray's Gables)

     

     
     

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    Also known as the Quadra Dangle Square Dance Clubhouse, the Union Pacific Athletic Club or Gray’s Gables, as it was named in its origin, is located in the northeast section of Laramie, Wyoming. The style of architecture is rustic log design. The logs are lodgepole and ponderosa pine hewn in the Medicine Bow range west of Laramie and brought into Laramie on rail cars in 1928.

    The historical significance of the Union Pacific Athletic Club relates directly to the activities of persons connected with the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1926, a group of Union Pacific employees formed a group known as the Union Pacific Athletic Club whose purpose was to further the athletic ability and physical welfare of the employees, both young and old. There were athletic clubs in nearly every town of any size along the entire Union Pacific routes from Omaha to Los Angeles and Portland.

    There was much competition between these clubs in basketball, track, rifle team matches and golf tournaments. The club members designed the building among themselves. The planned hall was to house an area for dancing, roller-skating rink, dining and assembly hall, card rooms, billiard rooms, an indoor small-bore rifle range in an adjacent building, a large-bore rifle range, archery range, tennis courts, a trap shoot, croquet lawns and golf course, and children’s playground.

    The dedication of the building took place on May 20, 1929 and this event also emphasizes the historic significance of the structure for it was named Gray’s Gables after the President of the Union Pacific Railroad, Carl R. Gray, who was the main speaker at the ceremonies along with the President of the University of Wyoming, A.G. Crane. Begun as a Union Pacific facility for its employees, the club grew to become a Laramie institution due to the wide and varied activities which centered in and around the building.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, September 13, 1978
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB136

     

  • University Neighborhood Historic District

     

     
     

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    The Laramie University Neighborhood District encompasses a substantial portion of the residential area south of the University of Wyoming. Known locally as the “tree area,” the district extends roughly from University Avenue on the north to Custer Street on the south, and 6th Street on the west to 15th Street on the east. The district comes within one block of the eastern boundary of the Laramie Downtown Historic District (NR, 11/10/88). The district is largely contained within the plat of the original town; however, the blocks between 11th and 13th Streets were platted under the Union Pacific Company’s 4th Addition, and the blocks between 13th and 15th Streets were platted under the First Grand Avenue Addition. All three plats provided for wide streets, alleyways and tree strips, giving the district continuity in plan and layout.

    Initially local businessmen, ranching families and railroad workers built the homes in the district, with development generally proceeding from west to east. The real growth occurred from the 1900s through the 1940s, reflecting a period of intense growth for the University of Wyoming. By 1958, the end of the period of significance, almost all of the lots had been in-filled, which accounts for the low number of buildings that are noncontributing due to age.

     

     
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    Date Added to Register: 
    Friday, December 18, 2009
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB1938

     

  • William Goodale House

     

     
     

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    The William Goodale House is significant as an excellent example of the Tudor Revival Style in Laramie. The house is the only existing Tudor Revival house in Laramie constructed of brick or stucco. This solid stone masonry house was built in 1931.

    William Goodale contracted with the well-known Wyoming architects William Dubois and F. W. Ambrose to design his house. William Dubois was one of the leading architects in Wyoming during the early 1900s. He designed many prominent commercial buildings in Cheyenne including the Supreme Court Building and the wings of the Wyoming State Capitol. In Laramie, he also designed many commercial buildings, including the Half-Acre Gym, the Student Union and the Arts and Sciences building at the University of Wyoming.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, August 05, 1991
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB632

     

  • Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary

     

     
     

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    The Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary at one time stood alone in the open plain on the west side of the Big Laramie River, separated from the nearby city of Laramie by its forbidding outward appearance and by the prison preserve that covered hundreds of acres. A dirt road from the east led up to the gabled front entrance centered on the east side of the main prison building.

    A twelve-foot-high wooden plank fence, flanked at intervals by guard towers, enclosed the prison yard to the west of the main building. Outside the enclosure to the south stood the warden’s residence, a stark building stationed on a treeless yard. Several ancillary structures—hen house, hog pen, etc.—also stood outside the walls, and the prison garden was situated to the northeast of the main building. The original prison building, built in 1872, is now the north wing of the prison. A brick addition was added to the west of the original building.

    The large central section and the south wing were built in 1889. The Warden’s Residence was built in 1875 by convict labor. The Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary is historically and architecturally unique in Wyoming. It is the only federal penitentiary ever to have been built in Wyoming and the only facility which was used to house territorial convicts within the territory. It is one of the oldest buildings still standing in the state, and one of the few remaining from the 1870s.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, March 29, 1978
     
    Location:
    Laramie
     
    County:
    Albany County
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48AB101

     

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