CHEYENNE – Members of the Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board cut a ribbon Tuesday in celebration of completing the restoration of the Warren Rest House.
The ceremony took place at Holliday Park in Cheyenne, the brick structure’s home since the mid-1930s, when it was moved from City Park to make way for construction of the state Supreme Court building.
This structure was originally designed by William Dubois, who also designed Cheyenne’s Carnegie Library, in 1902.
Wyoming’s first governor, Frances E. Warren, donated funds for construction of the building in memory of his wife, Helen.
The structure originally contained two levels, according to Jason Bogstie, chairman of the Historic Preservation Board – the shelter above, and restrooms and storage below. Only the top part of the building was moved to Holliday Park, he said.
“Five years and $79,000 later, you now have a restored and stabilized Warren Rest House,” Bogstie said.
Work performed on the structure included restoring the lower masonry, replacing stone and brick, replacing historically inaccurate concrete masonry walls with brick, replacing historically inaccurate brick columns with brick that matches the original structure, cleaning graffiti and painting the wood.
“This project is a result of true hard work, dedication and commitment,” Bogstie said. “This is a success for historic preservation in Cheyenne.”
Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said the rest house represents an integral part of the city’s history.
“We are where many people come and stop and stay on the way to someplace else in their travels,” Orr said. “What’s remarkable to me is it was recognized that Cheyenne was a cornerstone place way back in the 1800s and 1900s. We were a place where people could stay and take a rest. I think it’s so fitting that this Warren Rest House is as it should be.”
The Warren Rest House represents the second physical restoration project completed by the Historic Preservation Board. The first was the restoration of the Lakeview Cemetery Vault, located just inside the entrance to Lakeview Cemetery at 2501 Seymour Ave. That restoration was completed in 2012.
The Historic Preservation Board is also fundraising to restore the Historic Airport Fountain at Eighth and Warren avenues.
The Warren Rest House project was supported, in part, by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Funding also came from the city’s Community Recreation and Events department.
“I really think this will benefit the community for years to come,” Bogstie said. “It’s more than 100 years old, and with the restoration work we did, it should last 100 more.”