A four-page ad supplement to the Sunday, Oct. 17, 1954 edition of the Casper Tribune-Herald & Star promised an exciting new era for downtown entertainment.
“The New Sky Room offers you the ultimate in food, drinks and entertainment,” boasted the article.
Patrons could dine and drink with a spectacular view through large picture windows, all while enjoying the mellow sounds of the “best artists in show business” such as Bill Merrill and his orchestra and “The Romancers” featuring Paul and Rosalie Vincent.
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The Sky Room was the icing on the nine-floor cake of a new addition to the Gladstone Hotel on the corner of Center and First Streets.
The area was filled with grand hotels, which started to spring up during young Casper’s boom years.
The Gladstone Hotel, completed in 1923, was one of the first substantial brick buildings in Casper. The post-war boom of the 1950s brought on new optimism and business downtown, enough so that the Gladstone owners saw fit to add a brilliant modern tower to their building.
The good times were over all too soon as big motels along the new I-25 took the glory and business. Growth east of town also brought new lounges and entertainment venues.
By the late 1960s the Gladstone, along with her grand hotel mates the Henning and Townsend, was in a financial death spiral.
Newspaper clips from that era document a litany of legal claims for back pay, mortgages and auctions.
In 1970, the once-grand Gladstone was hammered to dust and rubble by the wrecking ball. The 1954 addition, however, was spared.
Without its original partner, the addition, renamed The Tower, is something of an architectural orphan. Its south facing lobby and entrance is functional but uninspired, nothing like the glory of the 1920s building.
What it still has, however, is that ninth floor. And that view.