History and Photos of The Reno Arch

The Biggest Little Arch In The World

Posted by Chuckmonster

The Reno Arch

The 3nd Reno Arch - 1933 Postcard

Virginia Street circa 1933 - Reno Club eventually became Harolds Club which closed in 1995 (demolished by Harrahs). The building at the far end of the street is Hotel Riverside, opened as the Lake's House in 1859 (a log building). During the quickie divorce craze of the 30's and 40's Hotel Riverside catered to wealthy divorce seekers doing their six week stint in Nevada before the papers could be ratified. The Hotel Riverside still stands in the same location to this day.

The Reno Arch

The 4th Reno Arch - 1934-1963

In 1934, the Reno Arch underwent another change, gone were the symbolic torches, and in came a brand new neon design. Neon was invented in 1910 by inventor Georges Claude, and the first neon sign in America was at a Packard auto dealership in Los Angeles. Needless to say, this new and brighter Reno Arch was quite a knockout in its day and formed the image of Reno that lives to this day.

The Reno Arch

The 4th Reno Arch (1940s)

Day lit postcard painting of Virginia Street Arch in the late 1940's. Harold's Club stood in that spot from 1935 until it was sold to Howard Hughes in 1970, it eventually ended up in the hands of Harrah's who demolished it to build a plaza. The Nevada Club next door was opened in 1946, taken over from the Nevada Bingo Club. In 1949 one of the owners of the Nevada Club, Lincoln Fitzgerald was gunned down with a 12 gauge sawed off shotgun in his driveway. Fitzgerald had ties to the Detroit mob, and the murder was surely a hit, but Fitzgerald survived and lived in Reno and opened Fitzgerald's five years before his death in 1981. The Nevada Club closed in 1997. The Frontier Club next door to The Nevada Club opened in 1946 and closed 10 years later. Its difficult to see in the postcard above, but the top of the Frontier Club's sign featured a bucking bronco going back and forth... much like the "Ride The Bull" sign at the Frontier in Vegas.