Filed Under Architecture

Frederic DeLongchamps Cottage

Frederic DeLongchamps, Reno’s most famous and prolific architect, designed this enchanting house in 1919. It is an example of the English Country Cottage, or Tudor Revival style popular throughout the Newlands Heights neighborhood.

The house is often referred to as the “Honeymoon Cottage,” and indeed, Frederic DeLongchamps and Rosemary Galsgie were married on the property in 1926 and lived there for some time afterward. It was the second marriage for both; Rosemary had previously been married to Dr. Edward Galsgie, a physician who had moved to Reno in 1915 and operated the Nevada “Sun Cure” Sanitarium on South Arlington Avenue. He passed away in 1924, leaving behind his young adopted son, Galen.

DeLongchamps also had a son, Frederic V. DeLongchamps, with his first wife, Bessie. A Reno native, the senior DeLongchamp had graduated from Reno High School in 1900 and the University of Nevada in 1904 with a degree in mining engineering. Following the 1906 earthquake and fire, he moved to San Francisco to apprentice as an architect. In 1907, he returned to Reno, where he lived and worked until his death in 1969. In 1919 and 1920 he served as the first and only Nevada State Architect, and in 1966 he was recognized as a Distinguished Nevadan, having designed the Downtown Reno Post Office, Riverside Hotel, Washoe County Courthouse and many other landmarks (see separate entries).

The Hilliard family lived in the house from the mid-1930s to early 1960s. Attorney Albert Hilliard married wealthy New York divorcée Emily Robinson Aschner in 1933. Born in Vienna, Austria, Emily was an artist, guest newspaper columnist, and writer of prize-winning short stories who served as state president of the National Pen Women and president of the Reno Pen Women. Albert was a Reno lawyer for 30 years and unsuccessfully challenged Pat McCarran in the 1938 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Through a bequest from Emily Hilliard's estate, the Albert and Emily Hilliard Chair in the Humanities endowment at the University of Nevada, Reno was established in 1972. A portion of the UNR Physical Sciences Complex was named the Albert Hilliard Memorial Plaza in May of 1970, and a portrait of Hilliard by Hans Mayer-Kassel was presented to the University in December 1971 to hang in the Chemistry Building.

The DeLongchamps Cottage is built of native Nevada stone, with a curved shingled eyebrow roof over the second story balcony. The first floor contains a living room, dining room and kitchen. The second floor consists of one bedroom and a bathroom. Heavy interior timbers support the ceilings. Attached to the single-car garage is a two-room, 324 square foot studio with bathroom. Notable interior features include oak floors with mahogany pegs, a marble fireplace, and miniature doorways and windows.

Images

Delongchamps Cottage on a summer evening
Delongchamps Cottage on a summer evening The house is an English Country Cottage style and, although much smaller, resembles the appearance of the Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe, which DeLongchamps designed for millionaire George Whittell. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Single-car garage
Single-car garage The matching single-car garage is attached to a two-room studio apartment. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Frederic J. DeLongchamps
Frederic J. DeLongchamps DeLongchamps was a charter member of the Reno Chapter of the Institute of American Architects and served as its first president. His remarkable career spanned nearly sixty years. Source: Nevada Historical Society
Ashlar construction
Ashlar construction The DeLongchamps Cottage features a type of masonry construction called ashlar, when stone is finely worked and squared off to allow for very thin joints between the blocks. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Albert Hilliard campaign ad, 1938
Albert Hilliard campaign ad, 1938 In 1938, Albert Hilliard challenged incumbent Patrick McCarran in the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senator, attacking McCarran as a reactionary and a Democrat in name only. McCarran won the primary and general election and continued to serve as a U.S. Senator from Nevada until his death in 1954. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: July 11, 1938
Fireplace
Fireplace The interior living room features an oak floor and a fireplace with a stone surround. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson

Location

4 Elm Court, Reno, NV

Metadata

Donna and Paul Erickson, “Frederic DeLongchamps Cottage,” Reno Historical, accessed June 20, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/190.