Flanigan Warehouse

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.

Images

Flanigan Warehouse, ca. 1910

Flanigan Warehouse, ca. 1910

Looking northeast at the building from Fourth Street, this view shows the main office door on the left and signs advertising plows and other merchandise from the wooden platforms. Image courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Patrick Flanigan, 1895

Patrick Flanigan, 1895

Patrick Flanigan appeared in a Nevada State Government collage of legislative portraits from 1895, several years before the warehouse's construction. Image courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Flanigan Warehouse ad, 1902

Flanigan Warehouse ad, 1902

A Reno Evening Gazette advertisement from May 1902 promotes the warehouse's prime location and various services. Image courtesy of Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Site map, 1906

Site map, 1906

An image from the 1906 Sanborn fire insurance map shows the layout of the warehouse (designating brick in pink and wood in yellow), with the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway spur running between it and the Nevada Meat Company to the east (toward the top). Image courtesy of Mary B. Ansari Map Library, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Flanigan Warehouse, ca. 1915

Flanigan Warehouse, ca. 1915

A view of the warehouse from Fourth Street shows refrigerator cars parked on the NCO Railway tracks between it and the neighboring Nevada Meat Company. Image courtesy of Neal Cobb and Jerry Fenwick View File Details Page

Flanigan's death, 1920

Flanigan's death, 1920

After Patrick Flanigan's death in 1920, the warehouse went through several changes in ownership. Image courtesy of Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Vacant, ca. 1998

Vacant, ca. 1998

Pictured here in the late 1990s, the building stood vacant for some time before being purchased by Ed and Susan Scalzo and converted into a furniture store. Image courtesy of Cindy Ainsworth View File Details Page

Forever Yours Fine Furniture

Forever Yours Fine Furniture

Ed and Susan Scalzo have operated Forever Yours Fine Furniture in the historic Flanigan Warehouse since 1998. Photo by Patrick Cummings View File Details Page

Second floor, 2014

Second floor, 2014

A visit to the second floor reveals the massive wooden beams, which appear to be hand-hewn, and natural light flooding through the skylights. Large crossbeams run perpendicular to the roofline and are supported by timber pieces to form a series of bays within the warehouse space. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

East facade, 2014

East facade, 2014

The building's east side still shows evidence of the platforms formerly used to load materials to and from the railroad cars that pulled up to a spur on this side of the warehouse. Note the traces of earlier doors since filled in by brick. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Forever Yours, 2014

Forever Yours, 2014

One of the oldest buildings on East 4th Street, the Flanigan building maintains a strong continuity with the past. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Audio

Virgin timber from the turn of the century

Interviewed in 2012 by Edan Strekal, owner Ed Scalzo describes the Flanigan building, which currently houses his business, Forever Yours Fine Furniture. View File Details Page

Street Address:

701 East 4th Street , Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Flanigan Warehouse,” Reno Historical, accessed April 24, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/46.
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