the Colaborative Inc

Fort Steele Powder Magazine

Client: Wyoming Recreation Commission

Site: Fort Steele, Wyoming

Fort Fred Steele, commonly known as Fort Steele, was one of a series of frontier forts built along the route of the transcontinental railroad that were established to protect surveyors and construction crews who worked at laying the track. Many forts became supply depots, frequently attracting civilian commerce and settlement. When military activities at Fort Steele were no longer necessary and the War Department closed the fort, a once thriving community was left behind. Although Fort Steele fit this pattern, there was relatively little military activity. Most of the day-to-day activity of troops was related to preserving law and order among civilians around the fort. Troops were removed from Fort Steele in 1886, but the railroad remained, allowing civilian businesses to flourish until the1930s. At present, only the stone powder magazine remains standing, along with several other out buildings. The Collaborative evaluated the physical condition of the stone building and made recommendations for the necessary repairs. Based on this evaluation, the Wyoming Recreation Commission retained the Collaborative to complete plans and specifications for repairs to the Fort Steele Powder Magazine. In addition to deteriorated mortar, the arch over the entry door was collapsing and a large vertical crack extended from the jack arch to the ridge, splitting the structure in half. Tie rods were altered, and the poorly designed arch was reinforced by making it into one structural member with epoxy-fortified mortar. Areas of cracking were closed and re-laid, and new mortar was matched to the original in our firm’s historic materials laboratory.