Wells Fargo’s landmark Casper building is for sale

The Wyoming National Bank building is seen after its construction in 1964. (Casper College Western History Center)

It’s arguably one of Casper’s most striking piece of architecture, and it’s now on the market.

The Wells Fargo building at 234 E. First Street was recently listed at loopnet.com, a commercial real estate website. The price is undisclosed.

In an email to Oil City News, Wells Fargo did confirm it was “considering offers” for the building.

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The listing comes just over a year after Wells Fargo agreed to save the 177-foot sign tower. The bank removed its red signage from the tower in 2016 claiming it was structurally unsound, but after public outcry the tower was repainted and deemed safe.

“It is a prime piece of 60s architecture,” Casper Historic Preservation Commission chair Connie Thompson told Oil City News. “Hopefully they’ll continue to keep it as a bank.”

The Wyoming National Bank building is seen in this undated photo, likely from the early 1970s. Note the shell-shaped buildings near the sign tower. They were the original drive-up teller windows. The sign says “WYO”. The sign would cycle through time, temperature and abbreviations for Wyoming National Bank. (Casper College Western History Center)

Thompson and the preservation commission were involved in negotiating the tower’s preservation.

“When I was growing up in Casper, we called it the orange, because it looks like a pealing orange,” said Thompson. “You don’t see anything else like that in Casper.”

The unique building was constructed in 1964 for Wyoming National Bank, and designed by noted modernist architect Charles Deaton of Denver.

Deaton’s playful and innovative design included a large sculptured rotunda inside the two-story round bank lobby. Surrounding the rotunda are “blades” or “leafs” made of concrete that sink well into the ground. The more traditional areas of the building surrounding the lobby echo the theme in its windows and other details.

According to the Society of Architectural Historians, each of the huge 17 “leaf”pieces were cast in concrete on site using large wooden molds.

The tower was built later in 1968 and designed by Casper architect Harold Engstrom and is said to have been inspired by the Seattle Space Needle. It originally held an electronic sign with the time and temperature, which was removed in the early-90s after its reliability became problematic.

The building went through a number of owners and brands through mergers and buyouts before ultimately becoming a Wells Fargo branch.

An email to Oil City from Wells Fargo stated, “We are looking for a buyer who will enhance the property’s use, functionality and overall value for the Casper community and our customers.”

The email continued, “Wells Fargo will continue to maintain three full service branches in Casper.”

The future of Casper’s most unique building may be in question. One thing that remains is Thompson’s dedication to its preservation.

“We’ll fight for it again,” said Thompson.

This story has been updated with a statement from Wells Fargo.

Wyoming National Bank seen in the 1960s. View over top of bank, Hotel Townsend building in background to left, tank farm right background. (Chuck Morrison Collection, Casper College Western History Center)

The fluid, swooping interior of the Wyoming National Bank building as it appeared shortly after completion in 1964. (Casper College Western History Center)

The original clam-shaped teller windows are seen in this photo made shortly after construction was completed in 1964. (Casper College Western History Center)

The interior lobby of the Wyoming National Bank as it appeared shortly after completion in 1964. (Casper College Western History Center)

The Wells Fargo Bank tower is one of Casper’s most notibale landmarks. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

The Wells Fargo tower rises above the main bank building in downtown Casper in late May. The unique building was built for Wyoming National Bank in 1964. It replaced the old 1910-era Washington School, which sat on the site of Casper’s first school. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Dan Cepeda, Oil City