A free workshop for property owners hoping to learn more about the history of their property or considering nominating it for the National Register of Historic Places is set for this weekend.
“Is Your House Historic?” is led by Alliance for Historic Wyoming and scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday at 4th Street Studios, 315 S. Fourth St.
The first hour is set to feature speakers from Alliance for Historic Wyoming and the Albany County Assessor’s office, Laramie Main Street and 4th Street Studios.
The second part of the workshop will be an open house, when participants can look through resources and chat with historians.
“It’s a helpful guide for homeowners and people in the community who are interested in available resources in the city of Laramie that they can use online or in person,” said Rin Kasckow, preservation programs associate with Alliance for Historic Wyoming.
Kasckow said the idea for the workshop came after she bumped into René Williams, who owns 4th Street Studios, while Williams was doing research at the library about her property by looking through directories and other records.
According to Williams’ website, the historic downtown property’s house was built in 1915, with a barn, greenhouse and shop added over the next decades. Williams said she and her husband are planning to update the property’s four structures.
Kasckow wants to help others learn what historic resources are available online and around town.
“I thought it was so cool that there were so many available resources in everyone’s community that people can use to find out the history of their house,” she said.
Kasckow said Laramie’s historic structures date back to the early 1900s. Most are located downtown, in the residential neighborhoods east of downtown and surrounding the University of Wyoming.
“There are so many stories that can be told, and homeowners are curious about what stories houses tell,” she said.
The workshop will also include information about the National Register of Historic Places, a federal program that helps protect historic and archaeological resources. Properties that are at least 50 years old and still have their original appearance can be considered for registry, especially if they are associated with historic events, people or architecture.
Such a listing allows property owners access to grant opportunities, tax credits and other incentives. It can also help communities learn about and protect such properties, Kasckow said.
Any historic property is an important part of the Laramie community, she said.
“They are part of Laramie’s story,” she said. “They are a part of Laramie itself. Each neighborhood, each house, each yard tells a story about how Laramie grew to be where it is right now.”
Alliance for Historic Wyoming is a statewide historic preservation organization with headquarters in Laramie. It got its start in 2005 when founding members wanted to preserve public access to Martin’s Cove, which sits southwest of Casper and adjacent to a corridor of historic trails.