Historic Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne, WY

Historic Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne, WY
Historic Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne, WY

As part of the architectural team responsible for renovating the Union Pacific Depot‚ Glenn Garrett is familiar with just about every nook and cranny of the historical building. But there’s one section that he knows extremely well: the building’s clock.

Garrett is the “official winder” of the depot’s clock‚ which he describes as its most prominent feature.

“The tower anchors the south end of Capitol Avenue‚ and it’s basically a giant clock‚” Garrett says. “That was a deliberate part of the design on Union Pacific’s part; they wanted to remind the people at the other end of the street just who founded the state.”

The 1886 depot has long been a focal point for the region‚ with the clock tower looming over the downtown area. During recent renovations‚ the entire structure got a new lease on life‚ including its timepiece.

The clock itself works like a grand­father clock‚ with every level in the tower serving as a functioning part of the mechanism.

“It runs along the lines of a gravity-powered machine‚ using that energy to power the clock itself‚” he says. “There is a mechanism that you wind up that pulls weights up. As they move down‚ the energy is stored.”

For those unfamiliar with the workings of a giant clock’s innards‚ Garrett does gives tours to those who want to see how everything comes together.

“People like to go in there‚ and it’s definitely very interesting‚” he says. “It’s something I enjoy being involved in.”

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