Filed Under Businesses

Barengo Building

Opened by Italian immigrant brothers Natale and Camillo Barengo in 1936

The Barengo Building at 151 N. Sierra Street was originally intended to look very different from its final form. Designed in 1930 by renowned Nevada architect Frederic J. DeLongchamps, brothers Natale and Camillo Barengo initially planned it as the four-story Ambassador Hotel with three storefronts at ground level and 90 hotel rooms on the upper three floors. Construction began in 1930 but work was halted after the basement and foundation were completed. Work resumed five years later, in the summer of 1935, but with a modified plan for a one-story commercial building with no hotel.

The building features the initials "BB" for Barengo Brothers at the top of the corner pillars at each end of the building. The brothers first gained a name in Reno as grocers and importers of foods, including grapes for wine and juice from the Galt and Lodi districts of California, beginning in 1914. Natives of Italy, they had moved to Reno from San Francisco. In June 1934, months after the repeal of National Prohibition, they opened a wholesale distribution business called the Sierra Wine and Liquor Co. on Reno's East First Street.

The National Dollar chain store occupied the Barengo Building from its completion in 1936 until 1970. The interior was ideal for retail purposes, featuring a mezzanine with offices on the ground floor, and large display windows that ran across the entire front length of the store.

In 1970, it became the new home of Parker's Western Wear, a Reno institution run by Harry Parker that had been located on the corner of Center and East Second Streets since 1921. Parker's remained on Sierra Street until closing its doors for good in 1998. The building then had a series of tenants including Antiques & Treasures. It was sold by the Barengo family in 2021 and underwent a major renovation that briefly uncovered the old Parker's Western Wear sign that once spanned the front facade.

Images

Under renovation, 2022
Under renovation, 2022 Workers renovating the building in 2022 uncovered the Parker's Western Wear sign that once stretched across its front. Date: 2022
A busy shopping street
A busy shopping street The Barengo Building (right), which housed the National Dollar Store from 1936 to 1970, was just one of many shopping destinations on North Sierra Street. Others included the Montgomery Ward store just to its south, Sears, J.C. Penney's, and Home Furniture. Source: Neal Cobb
Ambassador Hotel original plans, 1930
Ambassador Hotel original plans, 1930 The original plans for the Barengo Building, designed by Frederic J. DeLongchamps, envisioned a four-story structure called the Ambassador Hotel. Source: Nevada State Journal Creator: Frederic J. DeLongchamps Date: June 29, 1930
The National Dollar Store, 1936
The National Dollar Store, 1936 The first tenant in the Barengo Building, ultimately built as a single-story commercial structure, was the National Dollar store, which had its grand opening in April 1936. The exterior featured glass display windows along its entire length. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: April 28, 1936
National Dollar Store interior, 1936
National Dollar Store interior, 1936 As depicted in the local newspaper, the National Dollar store was packed with display tables and shelves displaying a wide variety of goods. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: April 28, 1936
The Barengo Brothers initials
The Barengo Brothers initials A charming touch is the insignia spelling out "BB" for the two Barengo Brothers, Camillo and Natale, who financed the building. Creator: Alicia Barber
Parker's Western Wear
Parker's Western Wear Parker's Western Wear, which occupied the Barengo Building from 1971 to 1998, was a nationally famous outfitter for celebrities, divorce-seekers, and anyone seeking clothing and accessories to enjoy a true western experience. Source: Antiques & Treasures
Parker's Western Wear in the Barengo Building
Parker's Western Wear in the Barengo Building Parker's Western Wear remained a constant sight on N. Sierra Street despite the many changes surrounding it, including the construction of the Parking Gallery just to its south in 1992. Source: Neal Cobb
Antiques & Treasures
Antiques & Treasures Antiques & Treasures was one of the retailers occupying the building after the closure of Parker's Western Wear. They had to move out after the building was sold in 2021, and found a new location on Rock Boulevard in Sparks. Source: Antiques & Treasures

Location

151 N. Sierra Street, Reno, Nevada

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Barengo Building,” Reno Historical, accessed May 24, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/235.