The story of what is now known as the Truckee Lane Building begins with the construction of the Hughes-Porter building in 1941. This part of town had long been a peaceful residential area filled with churches, including the First United Methodist Church directly across the street. A cluster of wood-frame houses fronted the south side of West First Street, backed by an irrigation ditch, a fence, and a rough wagon road that ran alongside the river.
Robert Evans Hughes bought the prime riverfront property from the estate of John A. Fulton, former director of the Mackay School of Mines and son of a founding Reno family that had owned a great deal of downtown real estate. A native of Wales, Hughes was a former Proctor and Gamble executive who had moved to Reno in the late 1930s. His daughter, C. Pauline Hughes, married Howard Porter, who also invested in the project.
The original Hughes-Porter building, located at the foot of West Street, was a two-story structure with six storefronts on the ground level and offices on the second floor. In 1946, Hughes hired Blanchard, Maher and Lockard, an architecture firm with its main offices in San Francisco, to design a two-part addition, which is what remains standing today. Immediately adjoining the Hughes-Porter building, a new three-story section added two storefronts to the ground floor and two floors of office space above. The four-story section west of that featured two more storefronts plus twelve apartments on its top three floors.
The extended building incorporates elements of the International Style of architecture, with its rectilinear form and horizontal bands of window openings. It was a popular commercial address for the next few decades, with tenants including a chiropractor, a hypnotist, attorneys, a florist, a secretarial service, a beauty shop, insurance offices, and the architectural firm of Lockard (one of the addition's designers, who had moved to Reno) and Casazza.
In 1976, the City of Reno acquired the older section of the building, and the following year demolished it as part of a $2 million Truckee River Beautification Program aimed at reversing Reno’s longstanding tendency to turn its back on the river. The site was to be used for parking during the construction of neighboring West Street Plaza (also known as Brick Park), and then sold to construct a line of river-facing shops and boutiques.