Wells Fargo Completes Restoration Of Casper’s Iconic Tower
The people spoke, Wells Fargo listened, and the dominant structure of Casper's skyline endures.
The bank is finishing the restoration of the nearly 50-year-old, 177-foot tower at its downtown branch on East First Street after a couple of months of work, according to a news release from the company's regional spokeswoman.
"We expect the restoration project will be completed today, with the crane moved offsite by week’s end," Julie Fogerson said Tuesday.
In October, the bank removed the signs on the tower because they had become a safety issue, Fogerson said then.
The concrete pylon itself did not pose a risk, and the company was considering what to do. Options included taking it down, producing a replica or restoring it.
Besides the sentimental angst caused by dismantling it, removing it would have posed a promotional problem for the city because the tower is featured in many photos of downtown Casper, including tourism brochures from the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
But in May, the company announced it would keep the tower and give it a thorough makeover, Fogerson said. "Mindful of our longstanding collaboration with the Casper community, and understanding what the pylon sign means to community members, we’re moving forward with a significant restoration of the concrete pylon."
Restoration started with scraping and cleaning the surfaces of the triple-sectioned pylon, she said. "A three-coat process, including a primer/sealer, fast-curing epoxy and high-performance paint were then applied to the entire structure to help ensure the longevity of the work for an anticipated 15-20 years."
Wells Fargo wanted the project done before the Aug. 21 solar eclipse when an estimated 35,000 people will travel to central Wyoming to view the event.
The company also thanked Paramount Construction its work with minimal impact to the bank's customers and neighboring businesses, Fogerson said. The news release did not say how much the restoration cost.
The tower, nicknamed the "eggbeater" because that's what it looks like when you stand directly under it, is a highlight of Casper's otherwise mundane skyline.
It was designed by Casper architect Harold Engstrom, and built in 1968 to accompany what was then the Wyoming National Bank building.
For a long time, it had a digital time and temperature sign before the three Wells Fargo signs replace former bank occupant Norwest.
The main bank building, completed in 1964 was designed by prominent mid-century modern architect Charles Deaton, who designed Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and the house featured in Woody Allen's comedy "Sleeper."