the Colaborative Inc

South Pass Dance Hall

Client: United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company

Site: South Pass City, Wyoming

The historic South Pass City Dance Hall is located at the northeast corner of South Pass and Dakota Avenues in South Pass City, Wyoming. An early gold mining community, the town has been preserved as the Old South Pass Historical Preserve, a heritage tourism site and Wyoming State Park, managed by the Wyoming Recreation Commission.

This early log structure was used as a dance hall and community center beginning in the 1880s and on through, into the early 1900s. A simple rectangular form with gable roof, the building was recently used as a historic interpretive element. In the spring of 1990, the brakes on a concrete truck failed on its approach to South Pass City, causing it to run into the building, and thereby demolishing the original structure. As a result, the Collaborative was retained by the state’s insurance company, U.S.F. & G, to complete a Historic Structures Report on which, to base reconstruction of the building.

While the insurance company’s objectives were to restore the building to its condition prior to the accident, the State of Wyoming looked at the unfortunate accident as an opportunity to restore the building to its earliest original appearance. The firm prepared the Historic Structures Report in such a way as to satisfy the state’s objectives without changing U.S.F. & G’s financial obligation. Each component of this destroyed log structure was evaluated, and treatments were specified for restoration.

The firm subsequently prepared plans and specifications to restore the Dance Hall and this building will be used as a small living history museum to support the site’s historical interpretive themes.