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The way it was: Bank construction  1962
General contractor Don Strube, left, supervised trenching at the site of the new American National Bank in Riverton. Across the street to his rear is the Lapeyre Hotel (now restaurant), pictured on Jan. 17, 1962. File photo

The way it was: Bank construction -- 1962

Jan 14, 2013 - Staff

Mid-January typically isn't the time of year that comes to mind for a building project, but organizers of the new American National Bank of Riverton were eager to get started in 1962.

With more land under irrigation in Fremont County than at any time in its history, plans for the new Atlantic City iron ore mine near Lander announced, and the continuing growth of the uranium industry east of Riverton, the county's core economy was solid and expanding. The decade saw a sizable expansion of the banking community as well.

Stockholders bought shares in the new bank venture, and an architect was hired to create plans in a style now recognized as "mid-century modern."

Land was acquired just east of the Lapeyre Hotel on the 100 block of East Main downtown. Planners decided to break ground in January.

The first task was digging a 40-inch-deep trench to accommodate the concrete footings. That proved difficult in what still ranks as the sixth-coldest month on record locally. Even at the 40-inch depth, the ground was frozen.

Today the building houses Bank of the West.

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