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Wardell Court Historic Residential District


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The Wardell Court Residential Historic District comprises one block within the Wardell Addition plat of Rock Springs. The District contains twenty buildings, fourteen of which are considered to be contributing elements of the District. Buildings consist of single and multiple residential structures. The District is significant for its association with the development of the coal industry in Rock Springs in the early twentieth century, and the community's role in the development of planned residential neighborhoods and towns by the Union Pacific Coal Company. The Wardell Court residential neighborhood was designed and built by the Union Pacific Coal Company between 1920 and 1921 to house the company's high ranking officials. As such, Wardell Court was the culmination of a process of designing planned communities that was begun by the Union Pacific Coal Company in Rock Springs in 1874. While the Company designed residential neighborhoods and company towns for its workers and lower to middle level managers between 1874 and 1940, Wardell Court is unique in that it was designed to house the upper level managers including the coal company Vice President and General Manager, the General Superintendent, and department managers and mine foremen. Wardell Court's design consists of houses located around the perimeter of the block facing inward towards a central court. Wardell Court is dominated by Number 1 Wardell Court, a large two story bungalow which originally housed the coal company Vice President; and Number 7 Wardell Court which is a three story multiple residence for unmarried company clerks (who by the 1920s were predominately female). Most houses are five or six room craftsman style bungalows built to standard plans. All buildings within the court are built of hollow ceramic tiles covered with stucco. By the late 1930s the coal company began to sell the houses to their tenants. By the late 1940s all of the Wardell Court houses had been sold. Gradually the coal company officials either died or moved away and the houses came into the possession of owners not associated with the Union Pacific Coal Company. The well conceived Wardell Court Addition continues to serve as an elite residential area.



Date Added to Register:
Thursday, January 30, 1997
Rock Springs
Sweetwater County
Smithsonian Number: 


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