A sudden increase in construction activity hit Reno in the early 1930s, following the legalization of gambling and the reduction to six weeks of the residency requirement for securing a “Reno divorce.” In 1934, one of the largest projects announced was the construction of a large brick laundry building at 601 E. 4th Street.
The building was new, but the business was not. Burt A. and Nellie M. Reed had opened the IXL Laundry and Reno Towel and Linen Service at 505 E. 5th Street in 1927. Their new building, just a few blocks away, cost $12,000 and featured a steel truss roof with skylights that naturally illuminated the work space. A boiler room was tucked in back, and a spur track from the Southern Pacific Railroad ran directly behind the building for convenient deliveries.
The IXL Laundry had a range of clients, from hotels to the Reno municipal pool. The Reeds retired in 1945, selling the building to Reno contractor Paul Manuel. The following year, Manuel organized the Washoe County Laundry Owners Association, and was immediately enmeshed in a citywide laundry strike that led him to sell the business in 1947 to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rosenau. They sold the business in 1960, and it closed just four years later.
In the 1970s, after some minor remodeling, the building was repurposed into a commodity foods warehouse. In that capacity, it housed storage space, a waiting room, sanitation facilities, and a cooking demonstration room. Ed and Susan Scalzo began to lease the building around 1982, using it first for storage for their furniture and antiques business and then renovating its façade to install two large showroom windows.
In the late nineties, the Scalzos purchased the nearby historic Flanigan Warehouse to house their business, Forever Yours Fine Furniture, and the old laundry building became the home of Anchor Auctions.