In $4.5 million land deal, Historical Society moving to downtown Reno |

In $4.5 million land deal, Historical Society moving to downtown Reno

Geoff Dornan

The Historical Society would move out of its current building at 1650 N. Virginia St., seen here.
Courtesy photo

RENO, Nev. — The state Board of Examiners on Dec. 4 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 at 401 W. Second St., now called the Warren Nelson Building, is currently owned by the University of Nevada, Reno and sits just south of the Sands Regency casino/hotel and across the street from the Greyhound bus terminal.

In trade, the university will reportedly get the Historical Society’s current building at 1650 N. Virginia St., 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.

Nevada Division of 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 the Nevada Division of Museums and History has secured a $773,625 gift.

The state Board of Regents has already approved the deal.