Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins says a community conversation is needed about transients in Cheyenne.
In his ''Mayor's Minute" column last week, the mayor wrote the following:
''I met with our staff to discuss the transient problems downtown. We have a significant investment in our parking garage. The damage done is very expensive and the filth makes the garage less attractive to the citizens who need to park there. The homeless population are human, and we need to treat them as such, but we cannot have the current situation continue. We will be working on two fronts. First, to try to find safe places for them to live, and second, to find ways to protect our investment in downtown. It is truly time for a community conversation on this issue.''
Do you think Cheyenne has transient problems? Take our poll and give us your opinion. We'll publish the results on Friday.
CLASSIC CHEYENNE: The Cole Shopping Center
In December of 2020, Blue Federal Credit Union
completed its new headquarters at the corner of Converse and Pershing in Cheyenne. Well, it’s not so much a ‘corner’ as it is the smooth edge of a roundabout, but anyway. Before Blue FCU built its new campus, the site was at one time a premier shopping destination for Cheyenne. From the 1950s through 2016 it was Cheyenne's Cole Shopping Center.
Local businessman Frank Cole bought the land that would become a Cheyenne gathering place in the 1950s when the corner of Converse and Pershing was the edge of town
. Starting in 1952, three
different Safeway grocery stores called the Cole home over its half-century of existence. A plethora of other stores served the neighborhood too. From the movie theater to Blockbuster; there was the Cole Department Store, the fabric store, the East Branch of the Carnegie Library, and so much more.
As Cheyenne grew and changed, the Shopping Center fell into decline. Stores closed and new ones didn't take their places. The anchor of the area, Safeway, closed for good in 2016 with much of the rest following. In 2018 the buildings were demolished
and the new construction began.
The Cole was so integral to the neighborhood that when we asked on social media for folks’ memories we were flooded with hundreds of responses.
Check out many of those memories below, along with several pictures of the Cole Shopping Center, mostly from near the end in the twenty-teens.