Filed Under Residences

Ginsburg House

The home at 543 Ridge Street was designed by celebrated Nevada architect Frederic DeLongchamps and built for Harry and Anna Ginsburg in 1927. The Ginsburgs had moved to Reno in 1915 from Northern California, where Harry Ginsburg had owned a jewelry store in San Rafael, in Marin County. In Reno, he purchased the lease for the Marymont Jewelry Store, located at Second and Virginia Streets, before opening his business in a new location at 133 North Virginia Street on February 13, 1920.

The Ginsburgs were born, raised, and married (1903) in Russia, before immigrating to the west coast of the United States in 1906 with their two oldest children, Leo and Sam. They had another son, Edward, in California. Harry Ginsburg’s father had reportedly been watchmaker to the Czar and family until 1904. Harry Ginsburg was one of the founders of the Temple Emanu-El, the synagogue constructed in 1921 to serve Reno’s Jewish population, which by then numbered several hundred.

The Ginsburg name is well-known in Reno not just for Harry Ginsburg’s longstanding jewelry store, but for the 18-foot-high, four-sided clock that he had installed in front of his Virginia Street business on November 18, 1935. The clock was donated to the City of Reno by the Ginsburg family after Harry’s death in 1954. It was restored and installed at the Park Lane Mall on the corner of Virginia Street and Plumb Lane in 1966, and prior to the mall’s demolition, was moved to the plaza on the north side of the Truckee River, in front of the Reno City Hall.

The house is of a Tudor Cottage style consisting of 1,937 square feet plus an 870-square-foot finished basement, which includes a bedroom, a 400-bottle wine cellar, and a wood shop that complements the large machinery wood shop in the garage. Interesting architectural features include the circular and half-circular windows on the west elevation, the Tudor arched door, steep gable roof, and beautiful arches gracing the entryways. The interior remains original with the arch design also echoed in the fireplace. The Ginsburg House won the 2009 Residential Preservation award from the City of Reno Historical Resources Commission.

The Ginsburg family occupied the residence until the mid-1950s, after which it became a rental. It was then purchased by State Senator Peter Echeverria, who donated it to the Basque Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. The university later sold the home to Mike Cassity, a retired English professor and his wife Joannie; the Cassitys have painstakingly restored the home, researching design plans and paint colors and reproducing them as needed.

Images

Ginsburg House
Ginsburg House The Ginsburg House is a Tudor Cottage-style house designed by Frederic DeLongchamps and completed in 1927. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
The Ginsburg Family
The Ginsburg Family The Ginsburg family appears in this undated photo. From left, Anna, Leo, Sam, Eddie, and Harry. Source: Ancestry.com
The Ginsburg Jewelry Co. on Virginia Street
The Ginsburg Jewelry Co. on Virginia Street The Ginsburg Jewelry Co. appears on the far left in this photo of Virginia Street in the 1940s. The clock can be seen on the sidewalk in front of the store. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1940s
Arched door<br />
Arched door
The Tudor-style arched front door features a somewhat flat, slightly pointed arch common to the architecture of Tudor England. The door is crowned by a metal awning. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Tudor Garage
Tudor Garage The charming garage is also in the Tudor style. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Gable Roof
Gable Roof The Ginsburg House features a Tudor style steep gabled roof with half timbering. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Original Window
Original Window Beautiful brickwork surrounds this arched window opening. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Ginsburg Clock
Ginsburg Clock The clock that Harry Ginsburg had installed in front of his business at 133 Virginia Street in 1935 now stands on the plaza between the Reno City Hall and the Truckee River. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson

Location

543 Ridge Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

Donna and Paul Erickson, “Ginsburg House,” Reno Historical, accessed April 12, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/195.