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By Karla Pomeroy

City, historic commission seek grant for downtown structure inventory


November 21, 2019

WORLAND — A joint effort between the Washakie County Historic Preservation Commission and the City of Worland Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission could result in a historic Worland structure reconnaissance inventory.

The BAPC has been seeking a way to conduct an inventory of some of the buildings in the downtown area. With the help of the Historic Commission they can seek a Certified Local Government Program grant from the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.

The historic commission is the agency officially seeking the grant to fund a reconnaissance inventory of properties that predate the modern era, specifically those that predate 1950 as defined in the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Plan 2016-2020.

According to the grant application, “The Washakie County Historic Preservation Commission intends to conduct a reconnaissance inventory of buildings and preparation of Wyoming Building Reconnaissance forms and a Wyoming Inventory Report for History Worland, Wyoming. This project has been selected as a focus for the Commission at the request of the City of Worland.”

The project is focused on the original town plat, Court Place, First Addition, Second Addition, Pulliam and Randel, particularly the retail businesses and civic buildings including the city hall and the county courthouse.

The area runs primarily from Railway east to 15th Street and Pulliam south to Grace Avenue.

According to the grant application, these areas include most of the early residential and retail business areas.

According to the application, “With this information the city will be able to pursue a historic district and a Main Street affiliation. This project has the potential to create crucial partnerships for heritage resource identification and conservation in Washakie County, according to the grant application. “The partnership with the City of Worland Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission expands on the inclusion of Heritage Resources as an important part of the city’s planning process along with seeking to become a Main Street Community. They have indicated a willingness to contribute to the project both with resources and funds.”

The BAPC voted to support the project up to $3,000 during its regular meeting on Nov. 7.

According to the grant application, “A partnership with the Worland and Ten Sleep Chamber of Commerce is a new development that will result in opportunities for people outside of the community to become more aware of the historic character of Worland and the resources they have to offer. The public attendees at our public meetings in Ten Sleep and Worland conducted as part of the preparation of the Draft Historic Plan felt that identifying historic sites and sharing that information with the community was important.

“The City of Worland Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission in conjunction with the Worland and Ten Sleep Chamber of Commerce is seeking to revitalize the business district and improve home values. They recognize that one aspect of the economy that has not been adequately addressed is tourism. Heritage tourism is the fastest growing segment of tourism in the United States.

“The project also offers an opportunity to expand the Commission’s heritage resource partnership with the City of Worland to include the business community. Strengthening their interest in heritage resources will benefit not only the Commission but also the tourist industry in Wyoming and the traveling public both domestic and foreign.”

The project would also build on previous research in to Worland’s history that the Commission conducted in conjunction with the centennial celebrations of Worland and Washakie County.

According to the grant application, “The work conducted by the Commission in relation to those two events resulted in oral history interviews, collection of historic photographs, compilation of property ownership histories, and indexing of historic newspaper articles.

“The Commission anticipates using the information gained through the grant to pursue future research leading to the listing of additional properties on the National Register of Historic Places (National Register) within the City of Worland. At present time only one residence in Worland is listed on the National Register and no businesses are listed.

“We believe the greatest benefit of the project would be to historic preservation, without identification of those properties that might be important because of their association with important events or people, there are no opportunities to protect or conserve them. Owners of the structures will benefit through potential listing on the National Register which may provide Tax Incentives, provide broadly distributed information about the unique character of Worland beyond the County and State, and increase tourist traffic through their business. We believe Washakie County will benefit by identification of properties by increasing tourist traffic through the county.”

The grant application was due Friday, Nov. 16, according to Worland Building Official Randy Adams. They are seeking $12,500 for the study.

He said the application also included a couple of letters of interest from companies interested in the project.


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