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Stock Center - Cody, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 44° 31.537 W 109° 04.230
12T E 653324 N 4932065
Quick Description: Built in 1927, this is the building which housed the original Buffalo Bill Museum.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 10/22/2017 8:41:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMWWKA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member 8Nuts MotherGoose
Views: 0

Long Description:
Now the home of the Cody Visitor Center, the Cody Chamber of Commerce, the Cody Country Art League, and possibly other organizations, this 1927 log structure was built larger than actual size but is somewhat patterned after Colonel Cody's T E Ranch home. The larger size was deemed necessary to house the artefacts it was to display. Dedicated and opened to public visitation on July 4, 1927, the building was intended as a venue for the vast collection of western and frontier memorabilia which Buffalo Bill had collected over the years. It was at the time, and possibly still is, the largest and most comprehensive collection of its type in existence.

The collection, however, was much larger than the original building so, over the years, a couple of architecturally sympathetic buildings were built on the site to house more of the collection. These, however, were not enough to house the ever growing collection. In 1958, the Whitney Gallery, ultimately over 100,000 square feet in size, was built across Sheridan to the west. Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, son of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sculptress of the iconic sculpture, Buffalo Bill the Scout (also across Sheridan Avenue), donated a half million dollars toward construction of the Whitney Gallery. Ten years later the Buffalo Bill Historical Center was added to the gallery and was dedicated on July 4, 1969. Seven hundred feet long and more than one hundred twenty feet at its widest point, this impressive new structure was better able to display the equally impressive collection.

Some time after this building (the Stock Center) was vacated in 1969, Paul Stock, a Cody Country oil man, rancher and philanthropist, bought the Buffalo Bill Museum building and the grounds. His aim was to keep the building out of the hands of business interests who might ultimately tear the building down to develop the piece of prime commercial real estate. Stock then turned the property over to the city, details of the transaction unknown.

Stock Center The building presently named Stock Center was originally, from its completion and dedication as the Buffalo Bill Museum in 1927 until it ceased to serve that purpose in 1969, a part of a growing historical-cultural complex which eventually came to be known as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

The Stock Center stands within the northwest quarter of a block and both it and the entire block are city-owned properties. The old museum building was constructed of carefully chosen lodgepole-pine logs fitted together by craftsmen under direction of the area's acknowledged master-builder of log structures... ...The construction of the log ranch-house type building which would house that museum turned into a community project on the order of a frontier barn raising bee. Affluent subscribers bought and donated materials house logs, windows, door frames, flooring, shingles; other citizens, less well off, donated labor felled and skidded trees, poured the concrete, nailed the shingles. In a mountain forested area where log houses were typical abodes, the community's acknowledged master-builder donated his services and took charge of construction. On a vaster scale but somewhat patterned after Colonel Cody's T E Ranch home, the museum building slowly took shape and finally stood completed, a handsome, one-storied, multi-halled, log structure.

During later years the Association, hard pressed for display and storage space, erected to the rear of the museum other structures supposedly appropriate to the main building's ranch house motif. Still existing, they are a log barn, a wagon shed, a bunkhouse and a tightly enclosing board fence. Together they constitute a sort of imaginary barnyard, 'but actually they are too constricted in space, too small in their own size and in comparison with the house, and too closely placed to the house to convey the impression of a typical Wyoming stock-ranch headquarters.

Instead, they appear to be nothing different than what they were intended to be: a protectively fenced courtyard enclosing an outdoor display space plus several small buildings intended for storage and/or shelter of vehicular displays such as a freight-wagon, buckboard and stagecoach. None of these latter day additions possess the historic value of the original Buffalo Bill Museum Building or of its grounds. Should any or all of them be razed at some future time such action ought not negate the Stock Center's enrollment in the National Register of Historic Places.
From the NRHP Nomination Form


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