Architectural Historian Surveys Downtown Casper

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CASPER, WY - Casper preservation officials are taking advantage of a grant to bring in an architectural historian to survey Casper's historical significance.

The purpose of the survey is to determine which buildings in downtown are eligible for national register listing and officials have been working on the list since last year.

"When I was here in December I documented over 200 buildings. Since that time I've done a lot of analysis. Now we have a bunch of stuff to present as far as building types, national register eligibility, building dates and so forth," said Architectural Historian Kerry Davis.

Casper preservation officials say it's time for citizens to recognize Casper's historical significance.

"We decided we need to update because there’s so much renovation and people want to change the frontages of their buildings. They just want to destroy some of our history and we've got to preserve it," said Casper Historic Preservation Commission President Connie Thompson

A look downtown will show a lot of the buildings have stood the test of time.

"Anything in the center of Casper. Down center street, 2nd street, part of Wolcott, Durbin. There’s a lot excellent buildings down there that meet the criteria for preservation," said Thompson.

Not every building can be recognized as a historic landmark for Casper.

"Basically the two components are, a building has to have significance and integrity,” said Davis. “So integrity has to show what it looks like during the historic period. Significance is a building’s association with important trends that help define Casper."

Davis could find trends from the structures around downtown.

"Association with the automobile and the opening of the Yellowstone Highway. That lead to a number of buildings being built, that wouldn’t have otherwise been built. Various oil booms that occurred in town lead to a number of buildings being constructed," said Davis.

Davis surveyed more than 200 buildings in the historic core of Casper, between Beech Street and Poplar Street.

The last time the preservation commission had a survey of downtown Casper was in 1988.