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Stories by author "Mella harmon": 51

The Reno Unity Center was built as a private residence in 1895, on the former lands of Alvaro Evans. Evans had sold a portion of his extensive land holdings to Reno financier A. G. Fletcher in 1889. Fletcher subdivided the block just south of the…

Luella Garvey moved to Reno from Pasadena, California in 1929. Mrs. Garvey was the wealthy widow of a Cincinnati steel magnate. She selected a parcel in Reno’s most fashionable neighborhood and in 1934, commissioned the African-American architect…

Francis Newlands built his large home on Elm Court in 1890, two years after moving to Reno from San Francisco with his second wife, Edith McAllister. Newlands’ first wife, Clara, was the daughter of Comstock mining and banking magnate William…

The I.O.O.F Lodge/Reno Savings Bank, on the southwest corner of Virginia and Second Streets, is one of the oldest existing downtown buildings. The two-story Italianate-style building was designed by the local architect John S. Sturgeon to house the…

The 1915 Reno National Bank building was designed for George Wingfield by Reno’s pre-eminent architect, Frederic DeLongchamps, to house one of Wingfield's banks, the Reno National Bank. Designed early in DeLongchamps' career, the building is an…

Located in the northwestern portion of Idlewild Park, the California Building is the only remaining architectural element of the Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The elaborate Exposition celebrated the completion of the Lincoln and…

The Field Matron’s Cottage was built on the grounds of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in 1927 to house the activities of the field matron, who served under a program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs that provided instruction in sanitation and hygiene…

The Reno Mercantile/Masonic Lodge No. 13 building, at 98 W. Commercial Row, is the oldest standing commercial structure in Reno. The lodge was chartered by Nevada’s Grand Lodge in Virginia City in 1869, and for the first few years the members met…

When the Pioneer Theater-Auditorium was completed in December 1967, it was going to be named the Apollo Theater. Instead, the golden-domed building came to be called the Pioneer Theater-Auditorium after the statue of a pioneer family that stands in…

The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house was built in 1929 on a hill overlooking University Terrace in Reno's West University neighborhood, where a number of other fraternities and sororities are located. It was the first fraternity-built house at the…

In a town traditionally known for “sinful” institutions, it should not go unnoticed that between 1870 and 1950, downtown Reno had a total of 24 churches. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, which began with a congregation of just four members,…

By 1905, the old Masonic Hall on Commercial Row was no longer adequate for the growing membership and responsibilities of Reno Masonic Lodge No. 13. The new building commanded a prominent position at the northwest corner of the new Virginia Street…

The Reno Southern Pacific Railroad Depot was completed in 1926. It was the fifth Reno depot since 1868, the first four having burned down. Constructed of brick with a stucco finish, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 in…

After the demolition of the Carnegie Free Public Library, the Reno branch of the Washoe County Library was housed in the Nevada State Building, which by the mid-1960s, was slated for demolition to make room for the Pioneer Theater and Auditorium. The…

As soon as World War II ended and building materials became more plentiful again, it became clear that Reno’s schools were in need of updating and certainly expansion. In 1945, the Reno School District had originally planned to remodel the existing…

Built in 1949, Veterans Memorial School was one of the first schools constructed in the state after World War II, and was named in honor of those who had served. Its construction came in direct response to Reno’s growth; the city’s population…

There has been a Catholic presence in Nevada since its earliest days. The first Catholic church was built by Rev. Father Hugh P. Gallagher in Virginia City in 1860, during the heyday of the Comstock Lode. Other churches followed as mining boomtowns…

The Southern Pacific Railroad Freight House was built in 1931, replacing a smaller wood-frame structure that had outgrown its usefulness and blocked a major thoroughfare. Despite the economic problems of the Great Depression, freight traffic through…

The Southside School Annex was built in 1936 through a grant provided by the Public Works Administration (PWA), one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs initiated during the Great Depression. The Southside School had been built in…

Landrum's came to Reno on a railroad flat car, off-loaded from the Virginia & Truckee Railroad tracks behind the property, and assembled on its present site in 1947 by Eunice Landrum, who named her new diner "Landrum's Hamburger System No. 1." The…

In 2006, the Reno Historical Resources Commission placed a plaque in front of the former location of Jacob Davis's tailor shop and residence at what is now 211 N. Virginia Street. The plaque commemorated Jacob Davis’s important 1871 invention:…

The Bethel AME Church was a religious, social and political center of the African American community, initially for black settlers in the 1910s, and later for local civil rights activists during the 1960s. From its inception in 1907, Bethel AME has…

The American Railway Express Agency building and the new Southern Pacific Railroad Depot were dedicated in civic ceremonies on February 8, 1926. From 1918 until that day, Reno’s American Railway Express operations had been located inside the…

Erected in 1925 by Roush and Belz to serve as the first women's club in Reno, the 20th Century Club was part of a national movement organized in 1894. The club was open to all women of good repute, and of course the most prominent women of the…

Trinity Episcopal Church was built over the course of 25 years bracketing the Great Depression and World War II. The congregation’s history in Reno dates to 1870. The first services were held in a schoolhouse at Sierra and Second streets, but by…

Completed in 1926, the First United Methodist Church is one of the oldest remaining churches in Reno. The Methodist Church congregation was established early in Reno's history in 1868, organized by Reverend Thomas McGrath. The third Methodist Church…

By the late 1920s, Reno had outgrown its first federal post office, located on the north side of the Truckee River. After much discussion, a site south of the river was chosen, requiring the demolition of the Carnegie Free Public Library that had…

Walking along the paths that cross today's Whitaker Park can provide a sense of the grounds on which Bishop Whitaker’s School for Girls stood from 1879 through 1894. Ozi W. Whitaker was the Episcopal Bishop of Nevada from his arrival during…

The parochial grade school at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church was built in 1931, the year Reno was designated its own Diocese and the church was upgraded to a Cathedral. The school and a possible new parish house had been under consideration in…

Orvis Ring Grammar School, in Reno’s northeast quadrant, was the second in the quartet of Mission-style schools built between 1909 and 1912. Orvis Ring opened for students in the spring semester of 1910. The school was located on Evans Avenue…

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