Twentieth Century Club

The beautiful building for Reno's first women's club was constructed on First Street in 1926.

The Twentieth Century Club building at 335 West First Street was erected in 1925 by Roush and Belz to serve Reno's first women's club. Part of a national movement, the 20th Century Club was organized in Reno in 1894, and was open to all women of good repute, and of course the most prominent women of the community were members. Prior to 1930, the club was involved in many causes, ranging from passing laws prohibiting spitting on sidewalks to education and social issues. It also served as a forum for discussion groups dealing with current events, the arts, literature, and more. Membership in the 20th Century Club peaked at 1,000 in its heyday.

The clubhouse was also utilized by the entire community as a rental space for parties, wedding and other functions. During World War II, it was rented to the USO. Enough money was generated by these rentals for the Club to hire a housekeeper and caterer to live on the premises.

Fred M. Schadler, a prominent Reno architect, designed the building. His design for the club was drawn from the Prairie School, which utilized strong horizontal lines, with the addition of Classical elements, such as tall and prominent arched windows. The front entrance was reconfigured at some point, and an entrance ramp and door were added to the center of the front facade. Today, the one-story building, situated on the western limits of the downtown core near the Truckee River, is the smallest structure in its vicinity, with the grounds of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral to the north and east.

Images

Member photograph, 1930s
Member photograph, 1930s Members of the Twentieth Century Club pose outside the front of the building in the 1930s. To the right can be seen the towers of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, located on the corner of Second and Arlington Streets. Source: Nevada Historical Society Date: 1930s
Previous clubhouse
Previous clubhouse In 1906, the Twentieth Century club purchased the clubhouse formerly owned by the Nevada Club, on the corner of Arlington and First streets, now the site of a parking lot for St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. Behind the clubhouse (with its large porch) is the Reno Wheelmen's Club building, and behind that can be viewed the steeple for the First Baptist Church. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
20th Century Club, original entrance
20th Century Club, original entrance The second and final clubhouse, built in 1925, featured a small entrance on the east side of its front facade. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
A dedication event, 1927
A dedication event, 1927 Guests at the dedication of California Building and Nevada State Building, March 12,1927. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Libraries Date: 1927
Pioneer guests
Pioneer guests The 20th Century Club hosted a group of pioneer women of Nevada in its clubhouse. Guests included Mrs. K. Smith; Mrs. M. Sproule; Mrs. Anna Boerland; Mrs. J. Beemer; Mrs. A. D. Williams; Mrs. H. H. Hogan; Mrs. May Gill; Mrs. Margaret Counihan; Mrs. M. Mudd; Mrs. L. Steiner; Mrs. A. Frandsen; Mrs. Elizabeth Murphy; Mrs. Susan Durley; Mrs. M. J. Robbins; Mrs. Van Billiard; Mrs. Fannie Hazlett and Mrs. George W. Mapes, Sr. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
20th Century Club, 1982
20th Century Club, 1982 The clubhouse is pictured upon its nomination to the National Register in 1982. The front entrance ramp and door are not original to the structure. Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form, 20th Century Club Creator: Paula Boghosian Date: 1982
History preserved, 2005
History preserved, 2005 The building's exterior has changed very little in the past few decades. Creator: Max Chapman Date: 2005
Private offices, 2014
Private offices, 2014 Although surrounded by taller and more modern structures, the 20th Century Club building still occupies a prominent location near the river. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014

Location

335 West 1st Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

Mella Rothwell Harmon, “Twentieth Century Club,” Reno Historical, accessed June 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/41.