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.