Filed Under Residences

Donnels House

This home was designed by Frederic DeLongchamps and built for Albert T. Donnels around 1916. Albert Donnels had been a Reno resident since 1896. He was born in Jamestown, California. As a young man in his early twenties he went to San Francisco; there in 1880 he entered into partnership with Theodore J. Steinmetz. Six years later, they relocated their furniture, carpets and drapery retail business to Reno. They operated their business at the northwest corner of Second and Sierra Streets until they leased the building to the J.C. Penney Company. Before moving to this neighborhood, Donnels and his family lived in a Queen Anne home at 815 N. Center Street, just south of the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

Albert Donnels’ favorite pastime was the sport of billiards, and he was one of the leading players in this city. He was also a member of the Reno Elks and the Knights of Pythias. Albert and Christine Donnels’ son, Albert Thomas Donnels, Junior, continued to live in the house after his parents’ deaths until 1965.

The Albert Donnels House has classical details applied to American Foursquare form, or Prairie Box style, consisting of 3,802 square feet plus a 1,668-square-foot basement. The simple box shape has four rooms on the first and second floors; the rooms on each floor do not have to be in the same location or style. Interesting architectural features include the full wide porch; hipped, shingled roof; porticos supported by Tuscan columns and topped with balustrade and dentils; rubble base foundation; and some 8/1 and 10/1 double-hung windows. The home was remodeled in the late 1970s by Albert Donnels' grandson, Tom and his family.


Donnels House
Donnels House The Donnels House is an American Four Square style designed by Frederic DeLongchamps. The simple box shape houses four rooms each on the first and second floors. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Front door and pilasters
Front door and pilasters The Federal-style front door features pilasters, which are flat columns attached to the surface of a building, often as a door or window frame. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Balustrade and Dentils
Balustrade and Dentils A balustrade is a hand rail across the top of balusters, which are vase-shaped posts. Dentils are small, rectangular blocks placed in a row like teeth, as part of a cornice or moulding under a roof. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Portico and Columns
Portico and Columns The exterior has a portico supported by Tuscan columns, topped with a balustrade and trimmed with dentils. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
Porch and balcony
Porch and balcony This photo, taken around 1987, shows the northeast corner of the residence, which is often obscured by vegetation. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1987


546 Ridge Street, Reno, Nevada


Donna and Paul Erickson, “Donnels House,” Reno Historical, accessed April 12, 2024,