A unique piece of Casper’s skyline is getting a new lease on life. Wells Fargo Bank announced yesterday the company will not demolish an iconic sign tower, which was built in 1968. The tower is adjacent to the unique building that houses Wells Fargo on the 200 Block of East 1st St.
The news came with surprise and relief for Connie Thompson, who is chair of the Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Casper.
“We had no idea which way that pendulum was going to swing”, Thompson said.
The commission reached out to Wells Fargo late last year when the bank removed their iconic red sign from the tower and, citing safety concerns, announced the entire structure would be demolished the following year.
“I did not believe they thought there would be any kind of interest”, said Thompson, who would call district manager Ryan Kenney in Cheyenne on a regular basis to discuss the tower.
Thompson attributes Casper’s recent expansion of its historic downtown district to include the Wells Fargo complex as part of this preservation success. Another benefit for Wells Fargo keeping the tower is that the large size has been grandfathered in. According to Thompson, any replacement could not be as tall.
“It’s just so unique”, Thompson says of the bank and tower design. “I don’t remember seeing another one in the state”.
The distinctive Wells Fargo building was originally built in 1964 for Wyoming National Bank and was designed by respected modernist architect Charles Deaton. The tower, added a few years later, was originally installed with an electronic clock and temperature display. The display was eventually removed when the electronics became troublesome and were replaced with a traditional bank sign.