East 4th Street Walking Tour

From manufacturing to tourism, railroads to restaurants, East 4th Street has played an important and multifaceted role in the history of Reno for more than a century. This tour provides a glimpse of the rich diversity of the area, best experienced on the pedestrian level. The route may be started at any point along the tour, proceeding in either direction.

First operating as a county road populated by isolated industries, scattered homes, and an early streetcar line to Sparks, East 4th Street profited by its proximity to the railroad and to Reno's commercial core. In 1913, the creation of the Lincoln Highway Association led to the designation of 4th Street as the route of the transcontinental highway, and later, the Victory Highway, which also ran through town.

Renamed U.S. 40 in the late 1920s, the former Lincoln Highway remained the primary east-west route through Reno until the completion of Interstate 80, three blocks to the north, in 1974. In recent years, the street has been experiencing a renaissance, infusing new energy into a corridor whose heritage is largely unsurpassed.

Reno Historical presents the East 4th Street tour in partnership with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, as part of the 4th Street | Prater Way History Project. Keep exploring Reno Historical to discover more historic sites along this corridor.

Louis' Basque Corner

Louis' Basque Corner has been a beloved local restaurant for nearly 50 years, but the building it occupies has a much longer history. Stone mason John Barrett built the Hotel Richelieu on the corner of Peavine Street (now Evans Avenue) in 1907,…

Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot

The elegant Nevada-California-Oregon (NCO) Railroad Depot was constructed in 1910, replacing an earlier depot that had operated on leased land at the corner of Lake and Plaza Streets. The railroad line it served was founded in Reno in 1880 as the…

Nevada-California-Oregon Locomotive Machine Shop

This sturdy yet unassuming building at 401 E. Fourth Street dates back to the late 19th century, subtly evoking Reno’s rich railroad heritage. It was constructed in 1889 as the locomotive house for the Nevada-California-Oregon (NCO) Railway, a…

Zellerbach Paper Company

This area 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…

Pinky's Market

Guido and Bruno Pincolini were already experienced grocers when they opened Pinky’s Market at 535 E. 4th Street in December 1946. The brothers had opened the Reno Public Market on E. 2nd Street in 1934 when they were just teenagers. After World War…

Allied Equipment

It is not surprising that many businesses along Fourth Street in the heyday of U.S. 40 dealt in some way with automobiles and related supplies. But one in particular brought to Reno some of the most iconic vehicles of the mid-20th century. Allied…

Union Iron Works

Union Iron Works opened at 555 E. 4th Street in 1935, helmed by seasoned blacksmith Ed Casinella, who had worked for years in the shop of Andrew and John Ginocchio (founders of Reno Iron Works). Casinella specialized in ornamental iron work for many…

Nevada Welding Works

The first business to be constructed on this side of the block, Nevada Welding Works literally blazed onto the scene in 1931. Reportedly the first electrically welded building in the state, the original section, considerably set back from Fourth…

Farmers Exchange

On the surface, East 4th Street may not inspire thoughts of fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables, but for decades, the brick building at 575 E. 4th Street played an important role in getting produce straight from farms to local tables. It was…

IXL Laundry

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…

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…

El Rancho Motel No. 2

The 80-unit El Rancho Motel No. 2 was opened in 1954 by Pete Cladianos, Sr. on the former site of the Nevada Packing Company, which had ceased operations in 1947, and burned down in 1950. Its demise opened up a prime location for a motel on the…

Reno Traction Company (site)

In the early 1900s, the establishment of an electric streetcar system was a clear sign of a city’s growth as well as faith in its potential for future expansion. There was therefore cause for great celebration on Thanksgiving Day, 1904, with the…

Reno Brewing Company (site)

“Reno need no longer send east for lager,” rejoiced one of the local papers upon the opening of the Reno Brewing Company in 1903. Located on the corner of E. 4th and Spokane Streets, the new company joined a number of existing breweries in Reno…

Reno Brewing Company Bottling Plant

In 1940, business was booming for the Reno Brewing Company. Founded in 1903 and having survived Prohibition by selling near beer, soda, and other related products, the company was entering the new decade with confidence. In February, plans were…

Eveleth Lumber Company

Lumber was big business throughout the Tahoe basin from the time of the Comstock, when thousands of acres of Sierra forest were cut down to construct underground support systems for the mines as well as the towns they founded. Numerous lumber…

Martin Iron Works

With its machinery still operating at full tilt, Martin Iron Works is one of the industrial pillars of East 4th Street. This is the second location for the business, which was founded by Martin Schwamb in 1939, just around the corner at 300 Morrill…

Morris Hotel

The summer of 1931 was an opportune time for constructing a new hotel in Reno. Just months earlier, the Nevada state legislature had both legalized gambling and shortened the required residency period for divorce-seekers to a scant six weeks,…

Alpine Glass Company

The Alpine Glass Company was founded in 1925 by two brothers, Charles and Marin Rosselli. The firm’s first location was a modest brick storefront at 608 East 4th Street. There, the company sold mirrors and glass for homes and businesses, both…

Marion Hotel

John Corsiglia had this three-story brick building constructed on his property at Fourth and Peavine (later Evans Avenue) in 1907 for $20,000. A native of Italy, Corsiglia had immigrated to the United States in 1870, reportedly working for a time as…