Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Standard Oil Refinery Building, Casper Wyoming

Headquarters for the former Standard Oil Refinery in Casper Wyoming.  This building, with additional new construction is now a branch of branch of tbe University of Wyoming's Wyoming Technology Business Center.

Every once in awhile I'll have some of these photos, taken for one of my blogs, that I end up not being sure what to do with. This is an example of that.

I took these sometime during the summer of 2015, while down on the Platte River Commons pathway.  I was probably riding my bicycle down there.  After that, I didn't put them up as I wasn't quite sure where they belonged.  My original thought was that they should go on Painted Bricks, our blog dedicated to signs painted on buildings, but there aren't any signs painted on this building, and the old Standard Oil sign has been removed.  Having said that, there is a major sidewalk feature here, and I do put sidewalk features on our Painted Bricks blog, so there will probably be an entry there after all.

Instead, I decided to put this up here because of this somewhat sad memorial at this location.

Now, there were people who died one way or another at the refinery over the many years it was in operation, but this monument is simply to people who worked there from 1913 up until it closed in 1991.  When it closed, it came somewhat close to being a mortal blow to the city, which was already really hurting at that time.  Having said that, the decline of the refinery, which had at one time been enormous and one of the prime economic engines of the city, was obvious for years.


When the refinery was operating, this building was on the edge of the refinery, along the old Yellowstone Highway, prior to that highway being moved across the river. As a kid I must have ridden as a passenger in my parents vehicle past it countless times.  I can remember it quite well, and frankly it looks newer now than it did then.


I don't know when the building was built, but as the refinery opened in 1913, chances are that it was right around then.  The substantial refinery, now a golf course, was a major Natrona County employer and its closure really nearly ended an era in the town.  The town had three refineries up until about that time, but only one of them, the  Sinclair refinery, remains today.  The Standard Oil refinery was the largest of the three.


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