[Link] - Click here to go to the navigation for this page
[graphic] Three Historic Nevada Cities Carson City, Reno, Virginia City A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
 [graphic] Nevada Home  [graphic] Introduction  [graphic] List of Sites  [graphic] Maps  [graphic] Essays  [graphic] Learn More  [graphic] Itineraries  [graphic] NR Home
[graphic] Previous Site
[graphic] Property Title
[graphic] Next Site

[photo] Historic quadrangle of the University of Nevada
Photo by Bob Blesse, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Library
The University of Nevada was established as a Land Grant university in Elko in 1874. In 1884, the campus was moved to Reno, where it has become a well reputed, but comparatively small, educational institution. Until the 1960s the University of Nevada-Reno was the only institution of higher education in the state. It has contributed greatly to numerous fields, including the humanities, mining, engineering and agriculture, and to educational opportunity within Nevada.

[photo] Historic postcard of University of Nevada and historic black and white photos of the quad c. 1910
Postcard courtesy of Joy Fisher, USGenWeb Penny Postcard Collection; Black and White photos Courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno

The University's quadrangle was modeled on Thomas Jefferson's plans for the University of Virginia campus. Incorporating three existing 19th-century buildings such as Morrill Hall, the campus concept became the master plan guiding the university's growth from 1906 to 1941. During this period, philanthropist Clarence Hungerford Mackay had great influence over the physical form of the campus through his financial support and personal involvement in the development of the campus. The historic campus contains 13 buildings, built from 1886 to 1945, that represent architectural styles of the late 19th century, the Classical Revival which predominated in the early 20th century, and one example of Art Moderne. These buildings represent the work of a number of architects noted for their work in Nevada and elsewhere including Frederick DeLongchamps of Reno, Robert Farquhar of Los Angeles, and the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White, whom Mackay hired to design several buildings starting with the Mackay School of Mines.

[photo] The University Gymnasium, now the Virginia St. Gym
Photo by Bob Blesse, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Library
The University Gymnasium is the one building in the district not located around the central quadrangle and lake area. It was a departure not only from the classic campus plan, but also the classical architecture that dominated the university's early 20th-century buildings. Designed by DeLongchamps, the Art Moderne gymnasium was begun in 1942 but, due to World War II, not completed until 1945. DeLongchamps's design for the gymnasium tied it to the rest of the core campus by his choice of materials, brick and concrete, and the overall symmetrical massing of the building. The building reflects an important phase of DeLongchamps's work, an architect who worked in numerous period styles.

The University of Nevada Historic District in Reno is bounded by Ninth St. to the south, Virginia St. to the west and on the north and east by later university development. For information on campus tours call 775-784-4700 or visit the university's website. The Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada Library contains many important and valuable research materials including historic photographs and the Frederic J. DeLongchamps Architectural Drawing Collection.

[graphic] Footer with three essays
 [graphic] link to Carson City Essay
[graphic] link to Reno Essay [graphic] link to Virginia City Essay

Nevada Home | Introduction | List of Sites | Maps | Learn More | Itineraries | NR HomeNext Site
Essays: Carson City Essay | Reno Essay | Viriginia City Essay

Comments or Questions

[graphic] National Park Service arrowhead and link to nps.gov