Historical Architecture and Design

Over the years Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates Architects has been involved in numerous historical preservation projects throughout Wyoming. These projects range from true historic preservation and historic renovation/rehabilitation, to historic interpretation. The majority of our work centers on historical renovation/rehabilitation where the historical fabric of the building is maintained as much as possible, however, our firm also has experience with the other end of the historical preservation spectrum. This refers to historic interpretation, where exact replicas are not required/desired, but the overall feel of the historic time period is respected in the design. Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates Architects has worked in conjunction with several historical preservation agencies such as; National Parks for Historic Properties, Wyoming State Parks & Historic Sites, Base Historic Preservation Office, as well as various other local historic organizations. The following is a sampling of our historical preservation/renovation/rehabilitation projects that Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates has completed over the years.

Superior Union Hall

Superior Union Hall

In the town of Superior, Wyoming, a small mining town located east of the city of Rock Springs, WY, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), constructed the Union Hall in 1921. Neither a rectangle nor a square, the building is a trapezoid unique in Wyoming as a structure of this type.

This project was undertaken to provide Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), recordation prior to the removal of the unstable roof and walls. Only the front façade and portions of the North, South and West walls remain intact. Once the structure was stabilized, the Union Hall was converted to a historical interpretive park and monument. The interpretive park, which was created inside the remaining structure, consists of an interactive concrete walkway surrounded by planters and areas of landscaping.

This Historic Interpretive Site is the result of Labor put forth by: the people of the town of South Superior, Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates Architects, The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Division, Terra Engineering, Western Wyoming College, and the Sweetwater County Commissioners Office.

Fort Fred Steele

Fort Fred Steele

Fort Fred Steele Historical Site is located approximately five miles east of Rawlins, Wyoming. It was a military outpost designated to defend the workers during the construction of the railroad from 1868 to 1886. Our involvement with the site included renovating and restoring the Chatterton House, the Quartermaster Building and the Schoolhouse. Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates worked in conjunction with the Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites.

The Chatterton House
The Chatterton House once occupied by the fort’s commander had deteriorated over the years. It was almost to the point of not being able to restore. The wood roof and framing, wood floor and framing, and doors and windows were gone – leaving only the crumbling shell of the stonewall exterior. Although the original structures on the north and south had deteriorated to a degree that could not be salvaged, the center portion, with its gabled ends, were structurally stabilized. This allowed for the reconstruction of the roof and floor system in that area. State Parks and Historic Site personnel installed windows and interior/exterior doors. This building is currently intended to be used as an interpretive center for the site.

Quartermaster Building
The two remaining structures, the Quartermaster Building and the Schoolhouse were in similar condition before the renovations, both were deemed unsafe structures. Both buildings underwent extensive reconstruction, which allowed the restoration of the Quartermaster Building to circa 1880 and the Schoolhouse to circa 1900.

Warden's House

Warden's House

The construction of the Warden’s House for the Territorial Prison was started in 1874 and completed in 1875 at a cost of $3,000. However, over the next thirty years this building received several additions that drastically altered the building. In 2005, restoration of the building started and it was determined to bring the building back to circa 1895. Bringing the building back to this era involved a great deal of de-construction to remove several of the additions and alterations that this building had undergone. Time and weather had taken a toll on the building which also contributed to the de-construction of portions of the building. Great care and attention to detail was applied in every aspect of the restoration of this building down to replica hardware and carefully matching interior paint colors to samples/scrapings of the era.

Broom Factory

Broom Factory

The original portion of the Broom Factory at the Wyoming Territorial Prison was constructed in 1892 and was to serve as a workshop for the prisoner’s to make brooms in order to pay back their debt to society. An addition was constructed in 1893, forming an ‘L’ wing on the building. Around 1902, yet another addition was constructed to the original building, lengthening this portion of the building. By 1903 all of the prisoners had been moved to the new prison facilities in Rawlings, and the University of Wyoming established the Agricultural College at the abandoned Territorial Prison Site. Over the next several years, further additions were constructed to the building.

In 2005 restoration of the building was undertaken. It was determined that this restoration would center on an 1895-1900 time frame. As such, the additions incorporated by the University of Wyoming would need to be removed. The first phase of the project involved the construction of footings and foundations under those portions of the building that were to remain. All windows in the demolished portions were salvaged for future use in the restoration. The second phase comprised of installing new roof. The final phase of this project entailed restoring the original portion of the building as well as the “L” wing of the building back to the ‘Broom Factory’.

Idelman Building

Idelman Building

Max and Abe Idelman originally constructed the Idelman Building in 1884 to serve as their liquor and cigar shop. The business operated until the Prohibition in 1919, and then the building housed a mercantile company.

An exterior and interior remodel was undertaken in 1978. The goal of this renovation was to not only bring the building up to code standards and to function as needed by its new owner, but to also preserve the historical value of the Idelman Building.

Tivoli Building

Tivoli Building

The historic Tivoli Building located in downtown Cheyenne was built in the late 1800’s, and was used as a bar and brothel. Since that point in time, this building has had many uses, but was vacant for a number of years prior to the acquisition of the building by the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce. The 1981 renovation incorporated both interior and exterior work, and was completed in 1981 for the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.

Historic Officer's Quarters

Historic Officer's Quarters

The Historic Officer’s Quarters were constructed between approximately 1895 and 1910, consisting of 156 units. These units were either 2-story single family homes or 2-story duplexes.

Both interior and exterior restoration was undertaken in 1993. The interior renovation included asbestos abatement, wood work restoration, and modernization of kitchens, bathrooms, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing. The exterior restoration encompassed repair of masonry, porches, windows and roof.

Sheep Barn Study

Sheep Barn Study

This was a study for the Wyoming Legislature to evaluate the possibility of relocating the historic Sheep Shearing Barn from Walcott to Laramie, Wyoming. This structure dates back to 1919 and found that this is the sole-surviving structure of its kind in the entire United States.

This study included the investigation of the structural integrity of the existing structure, possible health hazards, and how to relocate the structure.

The study concluded with a cost estimate and detailed explanation for the costs involved with the relocation.

Rock Springs City Hall

Rock Springs City Hall

The “Rock Springs City Hall” is a significant piece of architecture due to its importance to the heritage of the City of Rock Springs and the fact that is one of the last remaining examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture left in southwestern Wyoming.

In 1988 the building was used as the Museum of Rock Springs History. In 1991 the building was temporarily closed for an extensive remodel and rehabilitation, led by Noel Griffith Jr. & Associates Architects, in coordination with the National Parks for Historic Properties. The Rock Springs City Hall renovation was completed in 1992. This renovation included both interior and exterior work.

Rehabilitation of Building 34

Rehabilitation of Building 34

Noel Griffith Jr & Associates Architects has been involved with the renovation of the Security Police Building (which was originally the Base Hospital) in which the primary goal was to repair/restore the exterior facades of the structure. This included the restoration of the balcony above the front entry, the shingling of the roof, and the repair of the built-in gutter system. It also included the repair of exterior doors and windows, exterior covered porches, and the replacement, repair/pointing of stone foundation and brick façade above.