Ho Hum Motel

Tucked between two commercial buildings on South Virginia Street, the Ho Hum Motel has one of the most charming names in the business. It opened in 1953, when Virginia Street was not only a major business thoroughfare, but the north-south highway through Reno. The location made it an ideal place to stay for tourists who wanted a little distance from the clubs and casinos of downtown.

Original owner Sidney Leggett was already in the lodging business, having opened the Sutro Motel on East 4th Street in 1951. The property where the Ho Hum sits was adjacent to commercial buildings he already owned, including his namesake building just to the south (see separate entry).

The Ho Hum features the same architectural style as the Sutro Motel: brick construction with a Spanish-style red barrel tile roof. In order to maximize the number of rooms for its small lot, the L-shaped, 18-unit motel is two stories tall in the rear. The open building to its south, now used as motel parking, was originally a commercial building where Rauhut’s Bakery and Coffee Shop operated for many years.

With the construction of U.S. Route 395/Interstate 580, South Virginia Street no longer served as a highway, and its tourist lodgings shifted primarily to weekly and monthly rentals. And yet the Ho Hum retains exceptional architectural integrity, adding a picturesque touch to this stretch of historic commercial buildings.

Images

Street construction, 1965

Street construction, 1965

Pictured during a street widening project in the mid-1960s, the Ho Hum Motel was snuggled between commercial buildings on the busy thoroughfare. To its south, Rauhut's Bakery shares a building with Proctor's Gym for Men. Image courtesy of Nevada Department of Transportation View File Details Page

"Comfort You Will Enjoy"

"Comfort You Will Enjoy"

A postcard advertising the Ho Hum Motel touts its convenient location and amenities. Image courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Picturesque setting

Picturesque setting

A scenic mountain vista rises behind the Ho Hum Motel in a postcard ca. 1975. The comfortable lobby in front extends a welcome to visitors, while hanging baskets of flowers adorn the second floor. Image courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Iconic sign

Iconic sign

The bright green and yellow Ho Hum Motel sign blazes in neon, evoking an earlier era when South Virginia Street was as popular among tourists as residents. | Creator: Alicia Barber View File Details Page

A charming sight

A charming sight

A fixture on South Virginia Street for more than 50 years, the Ho Hum Motel retains both its architectural charm and its classic neon signage. | Creator: Kathy McConnell View File Details Page

Street Address:

1025 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Ho Hum Motel,” Reno Historical, accessed May 1, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/119.

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