A long-standing Laramie landmark has reached a milestone anniversary, but the Quadra Dangle Square Dance Club needs the community’s help.
The historic log structure that stands at the east end of Grays Gable, just north of Jacoby Golf Course, was built in 1928 on 80 acres of open space outside the Laramie city limits. Back then it was an athletic club used for all types of recreation.
“It was Laramie’s recreation center,” said Laurie Hill, a trustee on the Quadra Dangle Square Dance Society board.
Now 90 years old, the building still serves as a community gathering space, but the society is facing a series of costly renovations in order to keep the building functional. As a step toward its goal of raising at least $165,000, the society is hosting a fundraiser this weekend aimed at bringing the community in and having fun.
The Fall Festival for Our Grand Lady is scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Quadra Dangle, 3905 Grays Gable, with a craft fair, silent auction, bake sale, horse-drawn wagon rides, balloon artist, door prizes, family photos, live music and dance demonstrations.
Lunch will be served in the basement while a soda fountain upstairs will offer sweet treats as a way to pay homage to the building’s historic roots.
“They had everything out there,” Hill said. “This was a family-friendly, non-alcoholic venue.”
Daytime activities will wind down at 4 p.m., but then the evening will heat up with a dance from 7-11 p.m. From 7-8:30 p.m., the dance will be a sock hop, with music from the 1940s and 50s, followed by music by Randy Halsey and American Soundwave.
Admission to the dance is $7, while tickets will be for sale for daytime activities.
The Quadra Dangle was built by Union Pacific employees on land donated by the company. Employees brought their expertise in building trestle bridges for the railroad to the task of creating the enormous log building that features a 60-foot-long dance hall without any supporting beams to get in the way.
“It’s a historical treasure,” Hill said.
As an athletic club, the facility had roller skating in the basement, indoor and outdoor rifle ranges, archery range, trap shooting, golf course and tennis courts, plus a dance floor and stage.
In 1949, the railroad sold the building to the Quadra Dangle Society under the condition that it be maintained as a facility that prohibits drinking and “rowdyism,” according to the society. In 1978 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
These days, the building is still a hopping place. The society hosts square dances and teaches lessons at least twice a month, usually bringing in callers from around the region and filling the grounds with recreational vehicles.
The building is available for rent and hosts a half-dozen weddings a year, plus meetings, reunions and conferences, Hill said.
But like any historic structure, the Quadra Dangle is in need of major ongoing maintenance.
“She’s doing very well for a 90-year-old lady, but everything at age 90 needs a little help,” Hill said.
In 2008, a tornado damaged the roof, which was replaced and insulated thanks to fundraising efforts 10 years ago. The society also recently replaced the downstairs heating system.
Now the upstairs furnace needs replacing, as does a portion of the concrete foundation. One of the biggest expenses is the dance floor, which is still the original wood. Several years ago, it had the last sanding and refinishing it could handle.
“Nail heads showed,” Hill said.
The society is also hoping to repaint the exterior, replace the gutters, make the basement accessible and build an ADA-compliant bathroom upstairs.
Hill said she hopes the community will come out to the Quadra Dangle on Saturday and join the thousands of residents and visitors that have danced and played there over the decades.
“I would welcome the community to come out and have fun and partner with us on this,” she said.