By Cowboy State Daily
Work has begun to destroy two historic buildings in downtown Cheyenne so the city can build a new courthouse.
The 140-year-old Carey Building has been vacant for several years because of damage caused when the roof collapsed. The city bought the building and an adjacent one for $275,000 to provide space for the new court.
The buildings were too damaged to restore, leaving demolition as the city’s only option, said city Councilman Pete Laybourn.
“What happened was the roof failed, there was no repair, the water ran in, the mold grew,” he said. “So you had this perfect mess that really didn’t have another solution, unfortunately.”
Laybourn said the city should probably be more proactive in insisting that building owners maintain their property.
“Property rights are an important thing,” he said. “Property responsibilities go right along with it.”
The buildings feature an historic facade that is also being demolished, but that would have been a good addition to the new courthouse, said Brian Snyder, the owner of Bohemian Metals, a business on the same block as the Carey Building.
However, Laybourn said it would have been too expensive to save just the facade.