This area around East 4th Street and Valley Road was bustling with activity in the 1930s. After serving as a lumber yard for decades, the entire block was starting to transform from primarily industrial to commercial uses, with four new buildings being constructed on the Fourth Street frontage.
On the block’s west side, facing what was then called “Surprise Valley Road” (later shortened to just "Valley Road") Harry E. Stewart--who served twice as Reno’s mayor, in terms separated by 20 years--had run the Nevada Transfer and Warehouse Company for years. In 1939, he constructed a brick building next door to his warehouse for the Reno branch of the Zellerbach Paper Company, a wholesaler of paper, stationery, and notions with headquarters in San Francisco.
The new building at 420 Valley Road had an office and sample room and 12,000 square feet of floor space. A spur track from the Southern Pacific Railroad extended just north of the property, making it easy to load and unload shipments.
The paper company remained at this location through the 1940s. In the sixties, Home Imagineering offered complete home remodeling services from there. In 1974, Art and Marilyn Marston bought the building, and Art, who was a renowned artist, moved his studio and printing business, Art Marston Printing, inside. After his death in 1986, a commercial printing and mail service, Valley Print and Mail, operated in the building, which Marilyn Marston leased to a series of tenants through the early 2000s.