Nevada State Historical Society to move from UNR to downtown Reno

The Board of Examiners on Tuesday approved a land deal that will move the Nevada State Historical Society to downtown Reno into what was originally the Reno Gazette Journal building on Second Street.

“It’s going to be fabulous to have a museum in downtown Reno,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The structure, now called the Warren Nelson Building is currently owned by UNR and sits directly across the street from the Greyhound bus terminal and down the street from the Catholic Church.

In trade, the university will get the Historical Society’s current building located near the Fleischmann Atmospherium Planetarium at the north end of the campus along with two nearby undeveloped parcels of land owned by the state.

Museums and History Director Peter Barton said the society has “completely outgrown the existing building.” He said that has forced museums to warehouse a large number of historic artifacts because there’s no room to display them.

The new building, he said, has more than double the space and will enable the department to add numerous displays.

Vic Redding of UNR said the old Historical Society building will provide the campus with more than 70 badly needed offices. In addition, he said they’ll be able to add the two parcels to the campus for future development.

The Nelson building is valued at $4.5 million. Most of that is offset by the $2.85 million appraisal of the Historical Society building along with $876,375 — the value of the two undeveloped parcels. To make up the rest, Barton said museums has secured a $773,625 gift.

The Board of Regents has already approved the deal.

In addition, the board approved the Division of Emergency Management’s request for $291,773 from to assist Clark County with security needs during the coming New Year’s Eve celebration. Security for major events on the Strip has been increased significantly in the wake of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 800.

The funding is primarily to pay for Nevada National guard personnel who will assist Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and to support costs of fire and other emergency personnel.


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