The annual list of the 11 Most Endangered Places in Nevada has been released.
The list is compiled by the Preserve Nevada, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Nevada's cultural, historical and archeological heritage. It features sites with significant historical value that are in danger of disappearing. The purpose of the list is to bring attention to the historic sites in hopes of preserving them for the future.
“We have lost some important pieces of our past,” said Richard Bryan, chairman of the Preserve Nevada board, a former U.S. senator and governor, and a Nevada resident since 1942. “But we can and must save what we do have, and our list is designed to bring attention to those historic sites most in need of attention.”
“Nevada has a rich heritage,” Bryan said. “We have an obligation to preserve it, and that’s what Preserve Nevada is all about.”
The 11 Most Endangered Places in Nevada are:
1. Reno's UNR Gateway District
The Gateway District features 19th century Victorian houses on two blocks between the south end of University of Nevada Reno and Interstate 80. The University wants to build a new building where the homes currently stand. They have agreed to relocate the homes but many believe they would lose their significance if moved.
2. Goldfield High School
The high school was built in 1907 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1082. It's one of the few buildings to survive the great fires of 1923-24 in the area. The three-story Romanesque-style building was designed by architect J.B. Randell.
3. Las Vegas High School
The school was built in 1930 and is an excellent example of Art Deco architecture. The school's main building and the gym were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Plans for upgrades by the school district could place the buildings in danger.
4. Rural downtown areas
There are many rural downtown areas across the state. The downtown areas in many small towns have played vital roles, including housing centers of government, commerce, healthcare, entertainment and education. Newer and larger urban centers have taken businesses and people away from the downtown areas though and many of them have fallen into disrepair.
5. Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas
The Huntridge opened in 1944 and was the first desegregated theater in Southern Nevada. The Huntridge served both as a movie theater and concert venue. The venue closed in 2004 and has fallen into disrepair. Various groups and community members have made several efforts to save the theater.
6. Fernley Swales
Settlers and gold seekers who traveled through Nevada in the mid 1800s traveled in wagons that would leave deep depressions in the soil. Those depressions near Fernley became known as the Fernley Swales. The land cannot be developed and signs have been installed in an effort to protect the swales but off-road vehicles pose a danger to their continued existence.
7. Nevada's Motor Courts/Motels
Before the enormous hotel-casinos were built on the Las Vegas Strip, there were numerous small motor courts and motels near the downtown area of Las Vegas as well as motor courts and motels scattered across the states. Many of them have disappeared and others have fallen into general disrepair or are occupied by long-term, low-income residents. The motor courts and motels feature a variety of architectural styles including mid-century, modern, art deco and googie.
8. Red Rock Canyon area
Although multiple important historic locations inside the conservation area are protected, the city is steadily expanding towards the mountains. Many people want a much larger area to be protected.
9. Masonic Lodge No. 13/Reno Mercantile
The Masonic Lodge No. 13/Reno Mercantile building was built in 1872 and is Reno's oldest standing commercial building. After its construction, groceries were sold on the first floor and the Masons occupied the upper floor until they moved to a different building. Reno Mercantile closed in 1970. The building was used for a while by Fitzgerald;s Casino for storage. The building is no longer structurally sound now because of decades of neglect.
10. Victory Hotel in Las Vegas
Victory Hotel was originally named the Lincoln Hotel. It opened in 1907 on Main Street near the railroad depot. The mission-style building is one of the oldest downtown hotels and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The only older hotel in the area is the Golden Gate.
11. Hillside Cemetery, Reno
Hillside Cemetery was established in the 1860s. It contains the graves of many of Reno's early residents, one congressman, 5 mayors, and Paiute chief Johnson Sides. The cemetery has been neglected for years. Its owner announced plans to move the bodies in 2016 but that has not happened at this time. The Hillside Cemetery Preservation Foundation was formed in 2016 to help protect and restore the cemetery.