Historic University Gateway

In Reno’s early days, many Easterners were coming west to seek their fortunes and a life of adventure. Land was plentiful and cheap and many ranches were established in this still-wild country. Among these new residents were the Evans brothers from Defiance, Ohio. The Evans family produced thirteen children, at least six of whom came west and eventually made their home in the Reno area. Brothers Alvaro and John Newton “Newt” Evans owned land from 5th Street north to what is today McCarran Blvd. Newt sold the state land for the University of Nevada when it was moved from Elko in 1885.

In 1889, Alvaro sold a plot of land at the foot of the university bounded by Virginia and N. Center Streets between 8th and 9th Streets to financier A. G. Fletcher, who subdivided the land into 14 lots. Fletcher had arrived in the Truckee Meadows in 1875 from Maine. He was engaged in building flumes to carry wood to the railroad for the Comstock mines, and later tried his hand at sheep raising, eventually becoming a Reno banker.

Fletcher began selling his lots in the last decade of the 19th century and shortly thereafter, homes along the west side of N. Center St. began springing up. The name of the builder or architect is lost in history but as all are in the Queen Anne style, a relatively new style in those days, it is supposed that they may all be the work of one builder. Center Street, at various times called University Avenue, was part of a larger historical neighborhood that was divided by the construction of Interstate 80 in the 1960s and 1970s.

The University of Nevada, Reno developed a master plan in 2014 that includes a "Campus Gateway Precinct" between the south end of campus and Interstate 80. The plan, as written, threatens to displace the remaining houses on the Fletcher lots and several other late-19th- and early-20th-century houses in the historical neighborhood north of the Interstate.

Fulton House

The spindled Queen Anne house located on the corner of N. Center and Ninth Streets was built in 1895. It is similar in appearance to the Armstrong house at 821 N. Center, but its exterior is quite original. John M. Fulton moved into the house, now…

Mary Sherman House

The Reno Unity Center was built as a private residence in 1895, on the former lands of Alvaro Evans. Evans had sold a portion of his extensive land holdings to Reno financier A. G. Fletcher in 1889. Fletcher subdivided the block just south of the…

Berry House

The two-story Queen Anne-style house at 839 N. Center Street, built around 1900, was home to four families and a university professor during the 1900s, before becoming a rental in 1999. The Norths were the first occupants. A newspaper article in…

Atcheson House

In August of 1895, Lewis D. Folsom purchased a lot in the center of the 800 block of Center Street for $450. Here he built the stylish two-story, eight-room home at 829, with its typical Queen Anne adornments such as spindle trim above the porch and…

Armstrong House

The spindled Queen Anne residence at 821 N. Center Street housed a series of residents, including Reuben Thompson, before Edna and Elmer Armstrong became the owners in 1922 and raised three children there, Raymond, John and Ruth. In 1923 they added…

A.T. Donnels House

From 1900 to about 1913, Albert T. and Christine Donnels and their son Albert Jr. lived in the Queen Anne house at 815 N. Center. Donnels and his partner Theodore Steinmetz had established a successful furniture store on the northwest corner of 2nd…

Riegg House

Today, only one home remains of those properties that used to occupy the east side of the 800 block of North Center Street. Gone is the first Nevada Historical Society, a small brick building that owed its existence to Jeanne Wier, who ran the…

Garat/Humphrey House

The unique home at 127 E. Eighth Street is one of the most beautiful examples of Asian-influenced Craftsman styling in all Reno. Craftsman was the dominant style for smaller houses built throughout the country during the period from about 1905 until…

Moffitt House

Constructed sometime between 1890-1910, the two-story house at 843 N. Lake Street is a rare, significant example of the Free Classic Queen Anne style in Reno. Defining features of this house include its prominent round porch, which is supported by a…

Mack House

This lovely spacious home was built circa 1910 and though alterations have been made over the years to accommodate its use as student housing, the downstairs rooms of the home retain their original character. The architectural style is a bit…

Jones-Nenzel House

University of Nevada Professor of Geology J. Claude Jones and his family lived in the house at 825 N. Lake Street from the early 1920s to the early 1930s. Jones later served as Acting Dean of Men on the university campus. In 1916, Jones had earned…

Leaver House

Constructed c. 1910-1913, the house is an American Four-Square with a combination of Free Classic, Craftsman, and Prairie School detailing. It is a unique combination of architectural styles rarely seen in Reno. Prominent Nevada architect George A.…