Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Townsend Hotel

This is the Townsend Hotel, in Casper. The building was built as a substantial, modern hotel, in the 1920s, but fell into disrepair and dilapidation by the late 1970s. It's a classic example of a typical midwestern mid 20th Century hotel. It features prominently in many pre 1950 photographs, as viable in our flagship photo above.

This building was abandoned in the early 1980s, but it is currently under renovation and is being converted to a courthouse for Natrona County. The project has been somewhat controversial, and efforts to expand courthouse facilities in general have not been popular with the voters in the county, who rejected tax levies for the project. The existing 1930s vintage courthouse is across the street, but is not featured here, as it doesn't fit within this blog's mission.

This sign advertises not only the hotel, but the cafe. The cafe in the hotel was one of the last things operating in it, and was still in use up until the early 80s. Where the large excavation is in these photographs, there was once a private club, the Petroleum Club, which could be accessed through the hotel. The Petroleum Club still exists, but moved out of this location over twenty years ago.

In the historic photos, showing the Townsend in its heyday, this view would not have been possible. A Greek revival style office building, The Sinclair Building, would have blocked the view. It was removed in the early 1990s.

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