On March 30, CTA historic preservation architect Lesley Gilmore was the keynote speaker for an event hosted by the Alliance for Historic Wyoming (AHW). Held at the historic Sheridan Inn in Sheridan, WY, the event was part of a two-day workshop that AHW and the state historic preservation office held with various county and city officials — celebrating that this place (Sheridan) matters!
Gilmore’s talk supported the theme by covering the history of Sheridan, with a focus on the built environment. She presented historic and current images of the magnificently designed and constructed buildings in Sheridan: a city that is architecturally unique and generally intact. There is much to celebrate in Sheridan, with six blocks of Main Street’s commercial buildings ranging in construction date from 1883 to 1930. These Western, two-part, commercial block buildings are primarily constructed of masonry, representing Sheridan’s growth after the 1892 arrival of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad.
The rich detailing was highlighted in Gilmore’s presentation and prompted her parting thoughts in which she recommended: an update of the 1982 downtown historic district nomination, consideration of buffer zones around the historic districts, expansion of the historic preservation commission’s review responsibilities, and development of meaningful design guidelines.
“These approaches can help Sheridan maintain the phenomenal historic character of their city — rightly known as the Real Deal — and prevent misguided alterations that physically harm original materials, add features incompatible with the original building style, and decrease a building’s integrity,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore’s presentation and recommendations struck a chord at the right time with the citizens and administrators of Sheridan, as evidenced by comments in meetings the following day. Sheridan County committed to resurrecting its historic preservation program, and the city building officials developed a process to work more closely with the state historic preservation office.