1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-5160
Toll Free: (800) 342-5996
Fax: (307) 766-4042
The UW Campus has come a long way since its founding when the entire school was housed in one building, now called Old Main. The current campus now comprises around 785 acres of land. Historic Campus West refers to area of buildings and landscapes between 9th and 15th street. While the surrounding buildings of campus certainly hold significant historic value, many of them were built post WWII and do not generally fit with the architectural style of the main buildings. In the same respect, while all of the early campus buildings have been updated or renovated in some way throughout the past decades, the university staff has been considerate to make sure that the buildings in this area maintain their significant defining features.
When walking around the heart of campus, visitors well will immediately notice the continuity on the majority of UW's buildings. One main feature is the sandstone building material. From 1928 to 1988, the university owned and operated its own quarry to supply the construction needs of campus. Ensuring that the buildings maintained a unified look was key to the university's building plan. While some buildings do not strictly comply with the prominent use of sandstone, they all incorporate the rock into the design in some way. The general style also purposely tried to emulate the region's plateaus. The building exteriors incorporate a rugged design with strong horizontal lines while avoiding the feeling of being too barren.
The layout of the buildings was also carefully planned out. The university's 1924 "master plan" stated the university's buildings should be centrally located so that they remain "accessible to all" while purposefully separating residence halls from the education setting. Transitioning between classes was also considered. The sidewalks that dissect Prexy's Pasture were laid over naturally embedded footpaths tread by the students.
The landscape is another striking feature. In the campus' beginning, the area was utterly devoid of trees and other plant life. A concerted effort arose in UW's early days lead by students to plant trees around campus. Those towering trees (some over 100 years old) now provide protection from wind, shade from the sun and a perfect frame for viewing the campus. Boulders from the nearby Vedauwoo area have been incorporated with the plant life to reflect the distinctive nature of the surrounding area.
Sustainability in recent years has become an important feature of the campus buildings. It is important to note that the historic buildings were naturally designed with efficiency in mind, especially taking advantage of natural lighting and heat conservation. Recent updates have included several behind the scenes updates to the heating, water conservation, and electrical systems. A noticeable change to campus came with the closure of the Prexy's Pasture parking under President Dubois. The shift to a closed campus has encouraged students and staff to use more sustainable means of transportation like biking or the free shuttle system. While these updates have been occurring, the UW administration has been careful to consider historic preservation while incorporating sustainable principles. That is the reason why energy saving features have never been added to buildings in such a way that would harmfully detract from its historic features.