March of 1946 marked the greatest building boom in the history of Washoe County. Just six months after the close of the Second World War, forty major construction projects were underway in the Reno-Sparks area, including the Mapes Hotel, the…

Like many of the brick commercial buildings along South Virginia Street, this one started as a family grocery. There were already several in the neighborhood in 1927, when Frank Greene had this one-story store constructed in front of the older…

What is now the cornerstone of a busy Midtown intersection started out as two modest storefronts facing Virginia Street. The year was 1926, and the Memphis-based Piggly Wiggly grocery chain was eager to open a second Reno store. Constructed here…

The small brick building on the northwest corner of South Virginia and Mount Rose Streets has been a busy neighborhood bar for generations. When constructed in 1937, however, it was a simple market and service station on the southern reaches of…

The Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company was a commercial enterprise doubling as entertainment destination. On any given day, a row of children could be found standing transfixed outside the large windows on the building’s south side. There, Karl…

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…

The Southside Addition was platted in 1902 , a year prior to the construction of the Southside School located on the block bounded by Center and Sinclair Streets, and Stewart and Liberty. The new residential area south of it formed a wedge shape…

The Reno Pet Food Market opened at 745 South Virginia Street in the midst of the Second World War, as grain and meat rationing strained production for many pet food manufacturers. In response, the entrepreneurial Combs family cooked up a special…

The Ponderosa Meat Company had its start in 1947 as Reno Frozen Food Lockers. Brothers-in-law George L. Siri, Sr. and Willie Carano opened the butchering business and frozen locker plant after partnering for years at downtown’s Silver State Bakery,…

The transformation of South Virginia Street from a quiet residential neighborhood into a thriving business district was well underway by 1946, when Edward F. Hale financed the construction of a modest brick commercial building next door to the fire…

The Osen Motor Sales Company opened its beautiful new Frederic DeLongchamps-designed building at 600 South Virginia Street in 1923, when the neighborhood was still almost entirely residential. It was a bold move for the company, which had operated a…

The Giraudo Building was constructed in 1928 for Paul Giraudo, a Virginia City shopkeeper, from a design by Nevada’s premier architect at the time, Frederic DeLongchamps. The building featured two storefronts and one apartment on the ground floor,…

Tucked between two commercial buildings on South Virginia Street, the Ho Hum Motel has one of the most charming names in the business. It opened in 1953, when Virginia Street was not only a major business thoroughfare, but the north-south highway…

The Saturno building, also known as the Senator Hotel, is one of the area's oldest commercial buildings. At the time of its construction in 1907, Reno's business district was just beginning to expand westward from busy Sierra Street. The…

From 1948 to 1974, the two-story brick building at 1052 South Virginia Street was known across Reno as the home of the Hansel & Gretel clothing store, offering “quality clothes for children.” Upstairs were the Solari Apartments, named for Camill…

Sid Leggett was one of Reno’s original ad men. He and his wife, Helen, moved to the Biggest Little City in the mid-1920s from San Luis Obispo, California, where Leggett had worked for years in outdoor advertising. In 1931, he moved his poster and…

From its humble roots as a tamale factory in the 1920s, “the Coney” has grown into a community institution. Operated continuously by three generations of the Galletti family, the popular restaurant and bar is a gathering place for people of all…

In 1905, the Seattle-based Rainier Brewing Company announced plans to construct a bottling works and distribution center one block from the established Reno Brewing Company. Located near the railroad tracks at what is now 310 Spokane Street, the…

Gene Hinkel was already an established restaurateur in 1941, when he bought property at the corner of Ridge Street and Granite Street (now South Sierra Street) in order to construct a modern brick restaurant. A native of Germany, Hinkel had…

Reno’s tourism industry shifted into high gear in the years following World War II, as Americans jumped into their cars and hit the highways in search of fun and adventure. Motels popped up along all the major entrances to town, and the downtown…

Located in the northwestern portion of Idlewild Park, the California Building is the only remaining architectural element of the Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The elaborate Exposition celebrated the completion of the Lincoln and…

The story of what is now known as the Truckee Lane Building begins with the construction of the Hughes-Porter building in 1941. This part of town had long been a peaceful residential area filled with churches, including the First United Methodist…

Reno’s longest-running newspaper, the Nevada State Journal, began publication in 1870 in a building located on Virginia Street between First and Second. In 1876, the inaugural year of its rival paper, the Reno Evening Gazette, the Journal moved into…

“If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.” The clever motto—part description, part good-natured warning—graces an arched doorway inside Casale's Halfway Club, which has been operating as a restaurant for more than 70 years. “Mama” Inez…

The Sutro Motel, at 1200 East 4th Street, is one of the most picturesque motels along old U.S. 40. It is composed of two Spanish Mission-style structures straddling the east and west sides of Sutro Street, prompting many to guess that they were once…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…