Filed Under Industry

Flanigan Warehouse

Constructed in 1901 to store wool and other goods, the warehouse contains Reno's oldest elevator.

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.

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. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Creator: Edan Strekel Date: 2012

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. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1910
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. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1895
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. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: May 29, 1902
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). Source: U.S. Library of Congress Creator: Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Date: 1906
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. Source: Neal Cobb and Jerry Fenwick Date: ca. 1915
Flanigan's death, 1920
Flanigan's death, 1920 After Patrick Flanigan's death in 1920, the warehouse went through several changes in ownership. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: 1920
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. Creator: Cindy Ainsworth Date: ca. 1998
Forever Yours Fine Furniture
Forever Yours Fine Furniture Ed and Susan Scalzo moved their Forever Yours Fine Furniture store to the historic Flanigan Warehouse in 1998. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Creator: Patrick Cummings Date: 2012
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. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
East façade, 2014
East façade, 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. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
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. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014

Location

701 East 4th Street , Reno, NV

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Flanigan Warehouse,” Reno Historical, accessed June 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/46.