3 Historic Cheyenne Buildings That Were Destroyed
Do you remember these buildings from Cheyenne's past?
The Castle Dare, the Cheyenne Opera House and the Carnegie Library were all historic buildings in downtown Cheyenne that were destroyed.
Cheyenne's Carnegie Library was a grand structure, built in 1902, that stood on the corner of 22nd Street and Capitol Avenue. I remember when my Mom would take us there, I loved seeing the rows of wooden card catalogues and running my hand on the slick wood hand rails along the stairs leading to the children's books in the basement.
The Carnegie Library was torn down in 1969 to build the modern-looking Capitol Savings & Loan, where I used to save my paper route money. The building, next to St. Mary's Cathedral, is now used as the Catholic Diocese.
The Cheyenne Opera House was opened in 1882 on the corner of 17th Street and Capitol Avenue downtown. It was known as 'the grandest place for theatrical performances in all of Wyoming.' A fire in 1901 destroyed the stage and auditorium.
According to the website, Wyoming Tales and Trails, the auditorium was replaced by a building called 'The Annex' and the Opera House was converted into apartments. It housed workers from the railroad until it was torn down in 1961.
The building known as Castle Dare was built in the late 1800's as a wedding gift from Alexander Swan to his daughter when she married R.S. Van Tassell. Swan had financial problems before making the final payment and the property was sold to Cheyenne photographer and banker, D.D. Dare.
According to the Wyoming Almanac, the main Castle Dare building was used as the Odd Fellows Lodge before it was torn down in the late 1960's to make room for Cheyenne's Fire Station. The Castle Dare carriage house remained at the corner of 20th Street and Pioneer Avenue as offices for the county health department.
In 1993, 'house-movers' were hired to move the carriage house to make room for the new government complex. After several attempts to lift and move the red sandstone structure without success, the County Commissioners allowed the movers to tear the building down and keep their moving fee.
Red bricks from the Castle Dare carriage house now surround a playground in Holliday Park. Have you or your kids ever played there?
What memories or stories do you have of these former historic Cheyenne buildings?