National Register of Historic Places

Laramie Downtown Historic District


Date Added to Register

Thursday, November 10, 1988

Smithsonian Number


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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.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources