Chamber News & Views: How many historic buildings are left in the downtown Carson City core?
Those who were born here or have lived here over 25 years, give direction using a building name rather than street address. This can be confusing to newcomers, but you soon learn how important these buildings were to the history of this city and also begin to refer to a building instead of a street address.
Since we are the very heart of Nevada history, I thought an inventory of the true historical buildings still standing on Carson Street would give residents a sense of history.
Unfortunately, many of the more prominent and visually interesting buildings were bulldozed to make way for more “modern” structures or parking lots.
I define historical as those structures built before 1900. Many have been designated on the National Register of Historic Places. This list does not include the many other historic structures found throughout the west side that have earned historic designations identified by (NR). Some of the historic structures mentioned did not receive National Register designation because of the many alterations made to the exterior; however, are still representative of early Carson City.
As we once again redesign our main street, we need to keep these historic structures intact, for there is not much left of early Carson City.
The Nevada State Capitol: 1871 – designed by San Francisco architect Joseph Gosling – Built for a mere $170,000. (NR)
George Myers Hardware: c.1865 –202 N. Carson. Today occupied by the Office of Secretary of State (NR)
Warren Engine Company: 1863 – 202 N. Carson (behind Secretary of State). Considered the oldest continuously operating volunteer fire company west of the Mississippi. (NR)
The Emporium – c. late 1890’s –206-208 N. Carson is today Hanifin’s Antiques. Emporium was run by early settler Abe Cohn.
Rinckel Building: 1874 – 302 N. Carson. Best known as Lucky Spur. Most recently High Sierra Brewery.
Carson Jewelry & Loan: c. 1890 – 308 N. Curry. Originally built to house a tailor.
Kitzmeyer Furniture/Mortuary: 1873 – 319 N. Carson, Today a sushi restaurant. This is the oldest surviving Italianate style commercial building in our city. (NR)
Nevada Commission on Tourism: 1888 – 401 N. Carson – first built as the U.S. Post Office. Later became the Land Office, the Weather Bureau, the U.S. Court and the Nevada State Library. This was the first Federal Government building built in the state and housed the first elevator in the city and still houses the first and only clock tower still in operation today.
Horseshoe Club: Comprises three buildings, two of which were built in the late 1800’s. The corner building (Telegraph Street) was built in 1904 to house a bank. The middle section was the Mathias Rinckel and John Rosser Building built in 1874, once a drug store and a saloon. The third portion was best known as the Old Globe Bar and built in 1890. Because of all the “inappropriate” alterations, these three structures (now one) did not receive historic designations.
Jack’s Bar: 1859 – 418 S. Carson. Operated as Jack’s Bar since 1899, once also known as Bank Bar. (NR) Today the site is in disrepair and closed.
Nevada State Museum: 1866. Served first as the U.S. Mint (NR).
Carson Theater: c late 1890’s – 603 N. Carson is today Carson Coin. Also served as grocery store and later an auto repair shop with a club on the second floor. Served as the Carson Theater between 1940-1950.
Masonic Temple: 1872 – 729 N. Carson. Was once the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Passenger Depot until 1950. Considered a classic picture book example of railroad depots of that era. This structure is important to Carson City and the State of Nevada. (NR).
John Slater House: c.1875 -1112 N. Carson. Today is known as Adele’s Café. Has undergone many alterations, thus no historic designation.
Roberts House: 1859 – 1205 N. Carson (NR)
St. Charles Hotel: 1862 – Was also known as the Pony Express Hotel. Today serves as the Firkin’ and Fox restaurant. The addition directly to the south was once known as Muller’s Hotel and Jim’s Jungle Bar. Today it is part of the Firkin’. (NR)
Comma Coffee: c. 1870’s. 312 S. Carson. Considered one of the best remaining commercial facades on Carson Street. Formerly a funeral home and a kitchen store. Not much else is known. The building beside it known as Hookah’s Lounge was once known as Antique Corner. n