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.”
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.