On June 27, the National Park Service listed the iconic Maine Street Historic District in Fallon in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the nation’s official list of places worthy of preservation, recognizing important places and potentially qualifying them for certain grants and tax incentives.
The Maine Street Historic District is a significant reflection of the town’s commercial development in the early 20th century through the mid-1960s. After the town was founded in 1901, Fallon quickly became the commercial, social, and administrative hub for Churchill County. Maine Street became the primary commercial corridor, featuring shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues lining the street south of Williams Avenue, and the warehousing, freight, and light industrial buildings developing north of Williams at what became the Southern Pacific Railroad terminus. The intersection of Maine and Williams also served as a node for government services, with municipal and county facilities steadily developing on several blocks at the center of the historic district, including the County Courthouse, Fallon City Hall, and various facilities for law enforcement, fire protection, and public works.
The historic district recognizes the period from 1901 to 1966, beginning with the founding of the town and including a period of modernization in downtown after a severe earthquake in 1954. The earthquake damaged most of the community’s buildings, requiring repairs with concrete block and other, more modern, materials. Even without the damage from the earthquake, building owners constructed new buildings or modified existing ones throughout the 1950s and 1960s, adopting modern design elements and transforming the character of the downtown. The historic district includes 124 resources, 81 of which contribute to the area’s history through 1966 and still reflect that history through their physical features.
Listing the Maine Street Historic District in the National Register recognizes the downtown’s importance to Churchill County’s history. The designation does not change any rights of existing property owners, though it encourages the preservation of buildings and other features in the district. Owners of contributing buildings within the historic district may qualify for financial incentives, including the federal 20% Historic Tax Credit, an incentive for major rehabilitations of income-producing historic buildings.
A copy of the nomination can be downloaded on the web at http://shpo.nv.gov/historicplaces. For information about the listing, or the National Register, contact the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office at 775-684-3448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.