Biggest Little City

City of Reno Register of Historic Places


At present, there are twelve registered listings on the City of Reno Register of Historic Places. This page offers a look at those places, and describes the features and/or associations that make them significant to the history of Reno.  For a list, please see the City of Reno Register of Historic Places (PDF).

The Joseph Giraud House/Hardy HouseThe Joseph Giraud House/Hardy House, 442 Flint Street, was the first property listed on the City Register in 1994. Designed by Frederick J. Delongchamps, Nevada's most famous architect, the house was built in 1914 for Joseph Giraud, a sheepherder. In 1934, Roy Allen Hardy, a mining engineer who worked for George Wingfield, purchased the house. This house reflects features of the Colonial Revival style of architecture, and the main features of the house are the porches projecting from three sides. (National Register)



The Southside School AnnexThe Southside School Annex, was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936 to provide additional classrooms for the Southside School, demolished in 1960. The two-story red brick facade has an Art Deco entrance frontispiece. School is a striking example of regional interpretation of the Art Deco style. Only a few buildings were constructed in this style throughout Nevada. The school is particularly noted for its stepped, recessed, Art Deco entrance frontispiece. Three second-story front and rear windows are ornamented with floral and owl motifs. The vertical orientation of the door surround, the massing of the building with a central block and additions, the metal casement windows and the elaborate detailing are all characteristic of the Art Deco style, popular in the 1930s and 1940s. The building is the last public school building to remain in Reno's downtown core. It is currently owned by the City of Reno and leased as office space.

The California BuildingThe California Building, located in Idlewild Park, was built in 1927 for the Transcontinental Exposition that celebrated the completion of two major highways: The Lincoln Highway (Highway 50) and the Victory Highway (Highway 80). The building was a gift from the state of California. In 1913, members of the automobile industry began raising money to create a hard-surfaced highway coast-to-coast, with accurate signs along its entire length. The Lincoln Highway Association was formed that same year to help complete this early transcontinental highway, and with assistance of the Federal Highway Aid Act of 1916 and 1921, their goal was soon reached. The completion of the highways opened Nevada up to the lucrative automobile tourism trade, and led to growth and development of communities along the highway routes. San Francisco landscape architect Donald McLaren designed the layout of the exposition grounds. McLaren, who designed the landscaping for the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, also worked on the design of Reno's Wingfield Park. Idlewild Park and the California Building were gifts from the neighboring state of California.   (National Register)

The Washoe County CourthouseThe Washoe County Courthouse, designed by DeLongchamps from 1909-1911, was built in what was then the center of Reno, on land donated by Myron Lake. This courthouse was the third for Washoe County, established in 1861 as one of the original nine counties in the Nevada territory. Myron Lake donated land in 1871 for the first Reno courthouse, in anticipation of Reno wresting county seat status from Washoe City some 20 miles to the south. The original Reno courthouse, built of red brick in 1871-1873, still stands as an internal component of the building we see today. In 1909, Frederic DeLongchamps won the design competition for the new courthouse, the first solo commission of his career. The building is Classical Revival with Beaux Arts influence, featuring decorative elements in terra cotta. A copper dome with ribs ending in fanciful brackets crowns the courthouse. The building's interior includes an American Indian mural by Robert Caples at the main entrance and two Hans Meyer-Kassel oils under the stained glass dome on the second floor. (National & State Register)

The McKinley Park School The McKinley Park School was one of the four elementary schools constructed in Reno around the turn of the century that are known as the "Spanish Quartet" because they were all built in the Mission/Spanish style. McKinley Park School is situated across Riverside Drive from the Truckee River and large trees give the expansive grounds a park-like feel. The stucco-surfaced school is U-shaped with a central open court and an arcade sheltering the main entry. A two-story central tower stands at the base of the U, with a one-story wing extending behind it. The school has undergone rehabilitation and now serves as the City of Reno's Arts and Culture Center, which is open to the public. The rehabilitation effort was supported through grant funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund.
(National Register)

The El Cortez HotelThe El Cortez Hotel, built in 1931, gains is primary significance from its Art Deco style. It was also the tallest structure in Reno at the time of its construction.The foliated motif found on the terra cotta design on the building's base and parapet are remarkable Art Deco details. At the time it was built, it was Reno's tallest building. The hotel experienced such extensive use early on that an addition was built just a few years after its construction. The hotel included the Orchid Room, a swanky bar and a popular restaurant called the Tracedero Room. These rooms were elegantly appointed with stylish Art Deco ornamentation. The El Cortez was a high-class hotel, garnering an astounding $6 per night, compared to the prevailing room rate of $2.50 per night. The El Cortez was built in anticipation of increased divorce traffic after Reno's divorce law was liberalized in 1931. The residency period for those seeking a divorce in Reno was reduced from three months to six weeks, to boost the already lucrative divorce trade. El Cortez was one of several temporary residential complexes constructed during this time. (National Register)

The First Church of Christ Scientist/ Lear TheaterThe First Church of Christ Scientist/ Lear Theater, also know as the Lear Theater, was designed in the Neoclassic style by the noted African-American architect Paul Revere Williams in 1938. Williams was the recipient of the NAACP's highest award, the Springarn Medal. He also designed the Los Angeles International Airport and the Palm Springs Tennis Club. (National Register)



The Phillips Stone HouseThe Phillips Stone House
was built in 1918 by Dr. Fred Phillips as a family home. It was built from the rounded river rock gathered on the property at the corner of what are now Arlington Avenue and Plumb Lane. In 1945, the house was converted into Arlington Nursery by Dr. Phillips' daughter Dorothy and her husband. Today the house is home to a small business.





The Nystrom HouseThe Nystrom House, built in 1875, is one of the oldest homes in Reno. It was built in the Gothic Revival style for Washoe County Clerk John Shoemaker. Beginning in the 1920s, Nystrom House was operated as a boardinghouse for Reno's famous divorce trade. (National Register)



The Pearl Upson HouseThe Pearl Upson House is located at 937 Jones Street on the corner of Keystone Avenue. It is a two story house of red brick in a simplified Free Classic Anne style, built ca. 1902 on a corner lot in Block R in Powning's Addition. The house comprises roughly 2,000 square feet of living space, not including the attic and basement.




The Patrick Ranch HouseThe Patrick Ranch House is located at 1225 Gordon Avenue on a .14-acre lot located in Reno's Arlington Heights Suburban Home Tract subdivision between Mt. Rose and Monroe Streets. The original address of the house was on Arlington Place, with the house number and street name changed to Gordon Avenue in 1945. The house was constructed ca. 1901, in a turn-of-the-century, Folk Victorian home with Queen Anne attributes.




The Mary Sherman HouseThe Mary Sherman House, built in 1895, is an excellent example of Queen Anne architecture.







 Crissie Caughlin Ranch House 110513

The Crissie Caughlin Ranch, located at 3636 Mayberry Drive, is part of a 30 acre open space and park area. The Crissie Caughlin Ranch is culturally significant in that pioneers who settled the area are associated with the site and the structures. On the site there are three significant structures including The Ranch House, The Bunkhouse, and The Well. The Ranch House, which is approximately 3,500 square feet, was moved from its original location in Virginia City in 1900 and is evident of Victorian style architecture. The Bunkhouse, which is approximately 1,795 square feet, was also moved to the site from its original location near McCarran and Plumb circa 1874 and is characterized as a Prairie Ranch House style. The Well was dug around 1900 and the base was constructed from original river rock in the area.  

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