downtown FILE

A Cheyenne Police officer drives along Lincolnway on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, in downtown Cheyenne. Wyoming Tribune Eagle/file

CHEYENNE – A number of downtown buildings will be spruced up in coming months, thanks to the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority’s Community and Façade Improvement grants, which help business and building owners upgrade their properties.

For the old Rocky Mountain Telephone Building, on the corner of Capitol Avenue and 17th Street, the Façade Improvement Grant will be used to preserve a piece of history found in the second-story windows.

“This is something that when it’s gone, it’s gone, and it has lasted since 1906,” building owner Glen Garrett said.

For more than a century, the windows have sat between stunningly detailed stone columns, looking down on Cheyenne’s main street. Garrett will be using the $31,534 to replace those windows in a way that will protect them into the future, while preserving their historic value.

Replacing such dated windows does pose some challenges, but Garrett presented the DDA board with a detailed plan for renovation and preservation at its Thursday meeting.

“The second-floor windows are extraordinary,” Garrett said. “I don’t know if I will still own the building in the next 10 years or not, but I want to leave it in better condition than when I received it here, and part of doing that is to insulate those windows.”

With the same DDA grant, the Hynds Building will see five new windows and a new main lobby door that was damaged in a fire 10 years ago. The Façade Improvement Program supports improvements to historic buildings that meet the Secretary of Interior’s standards for historic preservation.

On the other hand, the Community Improvement Grants are given to businesses for public space improvements like new signage and street furnishings. Having helped fund the signs at Array and the Atlas Theatre, it’s almost impossible to walk downtown Cheyenne without seeing a business helped by the grants.

For Crossfit Cheyenne, the Community Improvement Grant will help pay for a new sign and required greenery as they move to a new location next to Black Tooth Brewery.

Currently tucked away in a building at 914 W. 17th St., the new location will have an attention-grabbing sign, modern look and additional foliage to welcome in clients. The DDA will provide $2,698 to help pay for the costs of the improvements.

“Mid-June or early July is when we’re looking to open the doors there,” owner Christi King said.

Between 2015 and 2019, the DDA distributed close to $800,000 through the Community and Façade Improvement grant programs. All three grants were approved unanimously by the DDA board at its Thursday meeting.

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152. Follow her on Twitter at @MargaretMAustin.

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