Filed Under Industry

Mining Experiment Station

Opened in 1921 as a federal Mining Experiment Station, the building long housed UNR Facilities.

The two-story brick building long known as the Physical Plant was designed in 1920 by renowned Nevada architect Frederic DeLongchamps to serve as a Federal Rare and Precious Metals Experiment Station. Its location directly north of the Mackay School of Mines made it a convenient place to research mining extraction, processing, and assaying techniques. Run by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the operation included multiple large and small laboratories along with libraries, offices, and a dark room. Similar facilities were located in about a dozen other states at the time.

The building served its original purpose until the completion of a new U.S. Bureau of Mines Rare and Precious Metals Laboratory on the north side of campus in 1954 (now known as the Applied Research Facility, that building was purchased by UNR in the mid-1990s and is located just northeast of the Knowledge Center). The Nevada Bureau of Mines then used this building until the Scrugham Engineering and Mines Building opened in 1963. At that point, this building became part of the university's Physical Plant. Anthropology and other departments have also used office and laboratory space in the building.

Due to its high level of historic integrity, it was included as one of the structures contributing to the University of Nevada, Reno Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The building underwent extensive renovation and reopened in 2023 as the new home of the university's School of Social Work.

Images

Building 058
Building 058 Located just north of the Mackay School of Mines, Building 058 served as a Facilities Building for decades until it was dedicated as the new home of the university's School of Social Work in 2023. Source: University of Nevada, Reno Date: ca. 2020
U.S. Bureau of Mines laboratory, 1920s
U.S. Bureau of Mines laboratory, 1920s A laboratory in the U.S. Bureau of Mines Experiment Station building, with lab equipment, microscopes, and apothecary bottles. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1920s
Machinery room in the U.S. Bureau of Mines building
Machinery room in the U.S. Bureau of Mines building The machinery room inside the U.S. Bureau of Mines Experiment Station in the 1920s. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1920s
School of Social Work
School of Social Work The building was dedicated as the new home of the university's School of Social Work in October 2023. Source: University of Nevada, Reno Date: 2023

Location

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Mining Experiment Station,” Reno Historical, accessed May 24, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/276.