Leaver House

Constructed c. 1910-1913, the house is an American Four-Square with a combination of Free Classic, Craftsman, and Prairie School detailing. It is a unique combination of architectural styles rarely seen in Reno. Prominent Nevada architect George A. Ferris (designer of the McKinley Park School, El Cortez Hotel, and Governor's Mansion, among others) lived here in 1913 and 1914.

Edmund S. Leaver was for many years the supervising engineer of the precious metals section of the United States Bureau of Mines in Reno. A metallurgist for several major mining companies, he was in charge of the Nevada Goldfield Reduction Plant during the southern Nevada boom. Leaver and his family lived in the house at 801 N. Lake Street from the mid-1920s until his death in 1943.

It became a boarding house in the early 1970s, called the Casa de Manana. From 1982-1991 it was a fraternity house for Omega Xi, the only independent fraternity in Nevada, formed in 1978 by a group of students living in Nye Hall. Lacking a national sponsor, the fraternity was free to make its own rules, and served largely as a communal social organization. Without a national sponsor it was sometimes difficult to maintain a house.

Clark Kayler purchased the house in 1993 as a rental property. He owns several other rental units on Lake Street and around the university. The fraternity Kappa Alpha Group occupied the house in 1994 and 1995.

Images

Unique architecture

Unique architecture

The house is something of an architectural anomaly, with a low-pitched hipped roof with flared eaves, a slab-roof porch, and asymmetrical windows. | Creator: Emily Rogers View File Details Page

Omega Xi fraternity house, 1983

Omega Xi fraternity house, 1983

Members of the Omega Xi on the freeway-side porch of the house. The porch was later walled in and became a rental unit with a bedroom and bathroom. | Source: Artemisia Yearbook, University of Nevada-Reno, 1993. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno View File Details Page

Fraternity party at 801 N. Lake St.

Fraternity party at 801 N. Lake St.

The caption for this yearbook photo: "The Omega Xi's and little sisters form a strong bond of socializers." The quote next to this photograph: "We always take out time at a social to show people how to surf down the stairs." -- Reese Moffett. A later renter verified that the center staircase was very steep. | Source: Artemisia yearbook, University of Nevada-Reno, 1987 Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno View File Details Page

Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house

Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house

For a short period of time in the mid-1990s, the Kappa Alpha Order occupied the house at 801 N. Lake Street. | Source: Artemisia yearbook, University of Nevada-Reno, 1994. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

The setting of 801 N. Lake St.

The setting of 801 N. Lake St.

The house is right next to Interstate 80, with a good view of downtown Reno. | Creator: JoAnn Campana View File Details Page

Close-up shot of entrance, 801 N. Lake St.

Close-up shot of entrance, 801 N. Lake St.

Although there are two house numbers listed, only 801 N. Lake is listed on the Washoe County Assessor's site, as one unit with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. | Creator: ZoAnn Campana View File Details Page

Street Address:

801 N. Lake Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

The Reno Historical Team, “Leaver House,” Reno Historical, accessed March 29, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/146.
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