National Register of Historic Places


St. Matthew's Cathedral Close

Laramie

Date Added to Register

Thursday, April 12, 1984

Smithsonian Number

48AB158

Read all about it

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.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources