Still commonly referred to as the Flanigan Warehouse, this expansive brick building brings together Reno’s ranching, industrial, and railroad heritage. It was constructed in 1901-1902 on the eastern outskirts of Reno primarily to store wool and other goods for Patrick L. Flanigan’s sheep and cattle business, but its massive size enabled it to be used simultaneously for wholesale trade, distribution, and general storage.
Flanigan, a Nevada state senator and one-time President of the Reno Water, Land, and Light Company, had arrived in the Truckee Meadows from New York state in 1877, eventually amassing an open-range sheep empire that spanned 60,000 acres throughout Washoe County and Northern California. Wool and livestock from Flanigan’s ranches were shipped on the narrow gauge Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad line directly to platforms located on the east side of the building.
As the price of wool fluctuated, Flanigan could store up to two million pounds at a time in the approximately 38,000-square-foot warehouse until prices rose, then quickly ship it to eastern markets via the neighboring Central Pacific Railroad. Flanigan also brokered sales for other wool producers; at one time, he was said to be handling most of Northern California’s wool and two-thirds of Nevada’s. Sacks of wool were elevated to the second story via a two-ton freight elevator (reportedly Reno’s first), then dropped down through the floor for sale and transport.
Together with his business partners, Flanigan also opened Nevada Meat (later Packing) Company on the lot directly to the east, creating an extensive complex comprising holding pens, a slaughterhouse, and cold storage.
After years of financial struggles, Flanigan faced foreclosure in 1914 and died in 1920. The warehouse continued to be used for storage and eventually as a building and painting supply store through most of the 20th century. In 1998, Ed Scalzo purchased the building at 701 E. 4th Street and moved his furniture business, Forever Yours Fine Furniture, here from its previous location at 601 E. 4th Street.