Preserve Nevada’s 150 Most List
In honor of Nevada’s Sesquicentennial celebration, we selected 150 + locations across the state to promote. Each site was identified as a preservation success, loss, or endangered location.
Please consider our entire list by downloading this link:
See some specific examples listed below:
SUCCESS- Buildings 100 and 200, US Bureau of Reclamation campus, Boulder City, Nevada Originally constructed in the 1930s and 40s by the Bureau of Mines for laboratory and office space, Buildings 100 & 200 on Date Street in Boulder City, Nevada, are contributing properties to the Boulder City Historic District. The US Bureau of Reclamation rehabilitated the buildings to integrate water and energy conservation features while maintaining their historic design features to be compatible with the Historic District and surrounding buildings. When completed in 2012, the two buildings provide office and records management space, community meeting space and training and conference facilities for Reclamation.
Morelli House The Morelli House, located at 861 Bridger Avenue, was designed and built in 1959 by the Sands Hotel and Casino’s orchestra conductor and music director Antonio Morelli on the former Desert Inn Golf Course. The Morelli House was moved to its permanent location in 2001, after which it underwent an interior and exterior rehabilitation. The house is now a community historical and cultural resource and the headquarters of the Junior League of Las Vegas. The Morelli House is listed on the city of Las Vegas Historic Property Register and the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Foreman’s House at Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs The Foreman’s House was constructed c. 1944 to serve as the residence of the Tule Springs Ranch foreman and his family. The house is an example of an early Ranch Style residence with a low, horizontal form and roofline, open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, and large windows. The city of Las Vegas completed a complete exterior and interior restoration, including furnishings, of the house for use as the Park Visitors Center and community meeting space in 2009.
ENDANGERED- The Victory Hotel The Victory Hotel, constructed in 1910 as the Lincoln Hotel, is the last example of the type of small hotels built to serve patrons as they exited the train depot at Main and Fremont Streets. Built in a modest Mission Revival style prior to air-conditioning, the hotel featured a covered walkway and central hall with doors at either end which allowed air to circulate through the building. The Victory has been vacant since the property sold in 2008, and is up for sale again. The property was found to be eligible for the National Register in 1986; however, the property owners objected to the nomination and it was not listed. The Victory is threatened by development pressures because of its location within the downtown area. An idea to move the building to a nearby location has stalled.
LOST- Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino The Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino opened in 1955 and was Las Vegas’ first interracial entertainment facility. Designed by architects Zick and Sharp, the casino boasted an impressive modern design, topped only by the huge neon sign in sweeping pink script. Although the hotel was only open for four and a half months, stars such as Sammy Davis, Jr., the Platters, Maurice and Gregory Hines, Lionel Hampton and Dinah Washington performed there. In 2003 a fire burned the historic casino but left the front façade and famous sign. The sign, designed by Betty Willis, designer of the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, was moved to the Neon Museum in 2008 just days before half of the historic hotel burned in a separate fire. The historic façade and tower were demolished in 2010. A portion of the historic hotel building remains. The Moulin Rouge site continues to be listed on the city of Las Vegas and National Register of Historic Places.
LOST- Mapes Hotel
10 N. Virginia Street, Reno The 12-story Mapes Hotel became the tallest building in Nevada when it burst onto the Reno scene in 1947. Its prime location on the northeast corner of the Truckee River and Virginia Street had become available in 1934, when the old post office was replaced by the Art Deco-style building directly across the river. The descendant of a pioneering Reno family, Charles Mapes, Sr., and his wife Gladys bought the parcel and hired architect H. F. Slocombe of Oakland, California to draw up plans for a luxury hotel influenced by the Art Deco style of New York City’s Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Construction was held up by the death of Charles, Sr. and the shortage of building materials prompted by the onset of World War II. Charles Mapes, Jr. was finally able to start construction on the hotel in January 1946, and the Mapes Hotel officially opened on December 17, 1947. On opening day, the Mapes family announced, “The hotel is informal in keeping with the western tradition which makes Reno so hospitable. Come in full dress if you want any time…or come in cowboy boots. You will feel equally at home.” With eight floors of guest rooms plus a lobby, mezzanine, and service floor, the hotel served as a prototype for the vertical hotel casino. Its crown jewel was indisputably the 12th floor Sky Room, with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the Truckee River, Virginia Street, and the Sierra Nevada mountains beyond. At a time when few Reno hotels had their own nightclubs, the Mapes offered dining, dancing, and floor shows as well as gambling areas and cocktail lounges both on the main and top floors. Entertainment at the Mapes ranged from Liberace to burlesque dancer Lili St. Cyr, with an opening house band or orchestra and a chorus line called the Skylettes. During the 1960 winter Olympics held at Squaw Valley, headliners at the Sky Room were Mickey Rooney and Sammy Davis, Jr. The hotel served as the headquarters for the filming of the 1961 film The Misfits, starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who stayed in a suite on the sixth floor. For more than three decades, the Mapes and the Riverside were Reno’s most elegant hotel casinos, remembered fondly as the site for high school proms and local dinner dates as well as world-class performers. Financial struggles prompted by an ill-timed expansion of their Money Tree Casino in 1978 led the Mapes organization to file for bankruptcy a few years later. The building closed for good in 1982, changed hands, and was sold to the Reno Redevelopment Agency in 1996. Despite a vigorous campaign by preservationists to adaptively reuse the Mapes Hotel, the Reno City Council voted in September 1999 to demolish the building. It was imploded the morning of Super Bowl Sunday, January 30, 2000. By 2008, the site had been paved with concrete for use as a plaza and seasonal ice skating rink.
ENDANGERED- Reno Mercantile/Masonic Lodge No. 13
98 W. Commercial Row, Reno The Reno Mercantile/Masonic Lodge No. 13 building is the oldest standing commercial structure in Reno. The lodge was chartered by Nevada’s Grand Lodge in Virginia City in 1869, and for the first few years the members met in variety of locales. In keeping with Masonic practice, the group placed the cornerstone of their own building on October 15, 1872. S. F. Hoole supervised construction of the building that housed a grocery and dry goods store on the ground floor and the Masonic Lodge on the top floor. The windows on the second story were filled in to protect the secrecy of the Masons’ rituals. Built at a cost of $11,500, the 34-by-75-foot building was expanded by an additional 25 feet in 1881 by the local builders George Troy and Peter Burke. The commercial business on the first floor provided income for the lodge. The first tenants were James Hagerman and former State Treasurer Jerry Schooling, who marketed groceries, hardware, and crockery. The produce and groceries firm of Gallatin and Folsom took over in 1883. In 1895, Reno Mercantile occupied the space, remaining in business at that location for the next seventy-five years. As Reno grew in size and importance, Masonic Lodge No. 13 played a greater role in Nevada Masonry. Looking to expand their facilities, the Lodge constructed a new building in 1905 on the northwest corner of Virginia Street next to the newly completed Virginia Street Bridge. In 1906, the Masons vacated the old lodge building. Reno Mercantile continued in business until 1970, after which the place was occupied by a succession of commercial businesses including a pawn shop. Most recently, the building served as storage for Fitzgerald’s Casino (the building that has now been renovated into the Whitney Peak Hotel). The Reno Mercantile/Masonic Lodge No. 13 building has survived two devastating fires in the 1870s, the growth and expansion of downtown, and the recent ReTRAC project that lowered the railroad tracks through town. Currently vacant, Reno’s first Masonic Lodge is waiting to learn what role it will play in the city’s future.
SUCCESS- Fourth Ward School, Virginia City
The Fourth Ward School was built in 1876 in the Comstock mining boomtown of Virginia City. The school served a combination grammar and high school designed to accommodate 1025 students. It was built as a replacement for school facilities lost in the Great Fire of 1875 and was in part financed by contributions from mining companies, businesses, individuals, and school benefits. The building design was copied from a similar school building located in Lincoln, Illinois, the plans for which had been published in a plan book in the early 1870s. The Fourth Ward School served as the principal school building in Virginia City until the completion of a new school in 1936, at which time it was shuttered and used for storage.
The Fourth Ward School was reopened in 1986 as a museum, 50 years after it had closed. Through local funds, and grants from the Save America’s Treasures Program and the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs, the Fourth Ward School has been restored to its former glory. It now serves as a museum and cultural center and houses an archival collection related to Comstock history. It was awarded a National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award for excellence in adaptive reuse in 2004.
Nye County and Tonopah
SUCCESS–Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah
Shuttered in 1999, the Mizpah Hotel was purchased in early 2011 by Fred and Nancy Cline of Sonoma, California. The Clines renovated and reopened the building to the public in August 2011. When it was built in 1905, the Mizpah was the tallest building in Nevada and the hub for social activity in Tonopah. Construction was financed by George Wingfield, George Nixon, Cal Brougher and Bob Govan, and was designed by the “Architect of Nevada” George E. Holesworth. The newly-renovated hotel features 47 rooms, a bar, and two restaurants and serves as the anchor for economic redevelopment in downtown Tonopah. The Clines’ plans include continuing to renovate rooms in the hotel annex and add a small casino to the property. They recently acquired from the Town of Tonopah the five-story State Bank and Trust building across the street, which will also benefit from the Clines’ commitment to and love of the history of Tonopah and Nevada.
LOST – Charles Clinton Stone Row House The Charles Clinton Stone Row House was located at 151 Central Street in Tonopah. Constructed in 1905 as a boarding house by Charles Clinton, it served as a boarding house for a number of years before being used as a hospital and then finally a single-family residence. It featured a series of rooms connected by an inside corridor and was constructed of locally-quarried ashlar stone. Shortly before being completely restored in 2008, the house was destroyed in an electrical fire.
ENDANGERED –Nye County Courthouse
The Nye County Courthouse was built in 1905 following the move of the Nye County seat from Belmont to Tonopah. It was designed by J.C. Robertson who also designed the jail, added later in 1907. With the exception of housing one or two non-profit groups over the years, the building has sat virtually empty since the construction of the new courthouse in 1995. It is still owned by Nye County and plans for its restoration or reuse are uncertain.