The Simon Durlacher building, built in 1872, is among the oldest on the block
and features an iron storefront shipped in on the railroad.
Simon Durlacher came to Laramie just before the railroad as the manager of a dry goods store. He opened his own store in 1871 in a log cabin, selling men’s clothing on one side and tobacco and jewelry on the other. A year later, the cabin was torn down and construction began on the two-story brick building. Until 1882, the upper floor of the building housed the Masonic Hall Laramie Lodge, of which Durlacher was an active member. In 1883, Durlacher added a basement, plate glass windows, a drinking fountain, and gas lights to his building.
The Temple of Economy, another local retailer, purchased the store and though it changed hands several times, the building remained a clothing store until the 1980s. Then Chickering Bookstore operated in the building until 2010 when Firehole Technologies, a University of Wyoming startup resided until the company was acquired by AutoDesk.
Unlike other business owners who utilized the second story of their property as a residence, Durlacher and his family lived in a prominent house at 501 S. 5th St.