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The year in which Cheyenne, the "Magic City," first appeared, it was the Victorian era in the US. As a result, many commercial and residential buildings partly retain their Victorian charm. The saloons, hotels, breweries, and railroad houses do not always conform to every, classic Victorian feature. After all, Cheyenne was founded as a railroad camp and frontier town.
The city debuted the Corintihian style State Capitol Building in 1887. It is a three story structure and builders carved their materials from sandstone and gray sandsone quarries in Rawlins, Wyoming. It is modeled after the "capitol" in Washinton DC. To the front of the building, the Esther Hobart Morris Statue honors the first modern woman who held judicial office. This illustrates how cultural history can inform architectural styles.
The historic district of downtown Cheyenne joined the National Register of historic places in 1978. In 2005, the Downtown Development Association began to exhibit concern for the "Next West" and sought ways to preserve the past. The urban design, downtown beautification, and Cheyenne mercantile divisions continually upgrade the historic district. This has encouraged many business owners to move from outlying commercial buidlings to the vibrant downtown setting. A devastating fire consumed an entire block of buildings in June 2006. City officials and contractors are eager to reconstruct the block in coming months.
The successful restoration of the
Cheyenne Depot may offer some inspiration for the downtown community. The government designated it as a National Historic Landmark following its $1 million renovation in 2004. It is a traditional, Romanesque building made of colorful sandstone. The architects have replaced every window in the building to infuse it with bright natural light. Contemporary light fixtures and furniture replicas decorate the interior of the visitor's center, museum and new restaurants.
Newel Post at the Capitol Building/