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Union Pacific buildings restored with help from Rocky Mountain Power

Union Pacific buildings restored with help from Rocky Mountain Power


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EVANSTON — The party celebrated two seemingly unrelated things: the 100th birthday of Rocky Mountain Power, and the partial restoration of buildings that are just as old.

It was a blast from the past, calling people together for a centennial celebration of buildings that have been partially restored to their original utilitarian beauty.

The buildings, originally built to serve the Union Pacific railroad, are an important part of Wyoming's history, and nearly $12 million has been put toward their restoration. Most striking of the bunch is the roundhouse, which used to house locomotives, and where Evanston hopes to relocate city hall.


We enjoy this big, wonderful Wyoming because of the hard work and dedication of those who came before us.

–- Gov. Matt Mead


Currently, the restored buildings are being used for special events and receptions.

Wyoming's governor was the guest of honor, celebrating work done in these buildings 100 years ago.

"We enjoy this big, wonderful Wyoming because of the hard work and dedication of those who came before us," said Governor Matt Mead.

Evanston was a railroad town, and model railroaders came to pay their respects. In 1912 the buildings were put up to serve the Union Pacific railroad. Out in front of the roundhouse is a big turntable that still operates, rotating at .33 RPMs, with the purpose of getting locomotives off on the right track.

Rocky Mountain Power paid for part of the restoration. Its predecessor, Utah Power and Light was incorporated in 1912.

"And it's really an opportunity to go back and see how far the world's evolved, what's changed," said Rocky Mountain Power President and CEO Richard Walje.

Celebrating the event, a photo replicating another taken 70 years ago this week was taken. Men working in the Union Pacific buildings bought war bonds to help pay the cost of fighting World War II, and took a photograph together. The old photo was the template for the new, and about 200 hundred people posed in the same position, some sitting in for relatives, but for a different cause.

"The photo, when it was taken in 1942, the men reached in their pockets and bought a war savings bond. So we're selling a restoration bond," Davis said.

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