Reno National Bank

First Interstate Bank

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 impressive and exceptional Classical Revival style terra-cotta structure with extensive, low relief sculptural ornamentation and Ionic columns and other Classical elements.

Wingfield had made his mark in the gold booms of Tonopah and Goldfield, and with his partner, U.S. Senator George Nixon, had established a financial and mining empire. In 1908, the two men moved to Reno, where Wingfield invested his money in livestock, hotels, real estate, and a chain of twelve banks. The Reno National Bank was the only financial institution he constructed. In addition, Wingfield maintained his personal offices and headquarters on the building's second floor, widely known as "the cave."

Throughout his prominent years, Wingfield played a very strong and active role in Republican political affairs. Upon the death of Senator George Nixon in 1912, Wingfield not only acquired Nixon's extensive banking interests, but was also offered an appointment to complete his Senatorial term. Wingfield refused this offer, knowing he wielded far more power from behind the scenes than he would in office.

Following the 1929 stock market crash, Wingfield made every effort to support and bolster the troubled local cattle industry. By October of 1932, he had overextended the limits of his banking chain, a "banking holiday" was declared, and his banks were closed. Wingfield was forced into bankruptcy in 1935, recovered in subsequent years, and enjoyed financial, political, and social affluence until his death in 1959.

The building was purchased in December 1935 by the First National Bank in Reno, which developed a close relationship with casino owner Bill Harrah, who located his executive offices on the building's fourth floor. First National later became First Interstate Bank of Nevada. In later years, the building housed a series of restaurants affiliated with Harrah's, including Planet Hollywood and Ichiban.

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206 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV