Hans Meyer-Kassel Art Lecture

I had such a great time meeting longtime journalist, author, and researcher, Guy Clifton this past weekend. He gave a lecture at the Nevada Museum of Art featuring the history and travels of the famous Hans Meyer-Kassel, a German artist who relocated to Reno and eventually settled near the Sierra Nevada slopes.

A few captivating pieces by Meyer-Kassel, inspired by the Nevada landscape.

Image credit: Nevada Museum of Art

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I also had the pleasure of meeting Jack Bacon (guest curator for the Hans Meyer-Kassel art exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art) and was happy to grab a copy of his first book featuring the life and works of Meyer-Kassel. Such a great read!

Interested in more events at the Nevada Museum of Art? Check out future art exhibits.

Renovation of Reno’s Basement + Rawbry

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It’s almost the anniversary of Reno’s new marketplace known as The Basement, the perfect setting for coffee-loving hipsters, visitors, and regular ol’ residents alike.

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The Basement is located in the old historic post office in Downtown Reno, and is rightfully named, since it’s a lower level substructure, welcoming anyone interested in uncovering its secret shops and intriguing design features.
Varying from barber to tasty taco shop, the shops in The Basement are all health and lifestyle based.

The Basement ~ History

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Originally built in 1933, Reno’s downtown Post Office was recently acquired by the Carter Brothers with grand plans to renovate the entire building. To help bring their dreams to life and continuing with the revitalization of downtown Reno, they hired the brilliantly talented Brianna, owner of Rawbry, to conceptualize and design a new space.

 

Now, The Basement harbors 15 vendors, including the modern design store, West Elm – the anchor tenant upstairs.

Photos of West Elm:

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“We are setting the bar as Reno grows – offering a market place that is more progressive, geared towards the millennial (but not exclusively) as a common core for Downtown Reno,” says Brianna.

While it was very important that we preserved the integrity of building, we also wanted to incorporate new features by inviting local artisans to add a touch of whimsy to The Basement with: lights, tables and many other (may I say epic) design features.

 

But not all went perfectly as planned. Renovations were quite tricky to navigate, as the post office is registered on the historic registry – which is just a fancy way of saying that there are specific requirements that must be adhered to in order to preserve the integrity of the historical building. Brianna received help from Dr. Alicia Barber, who helped curate this cool wall concept (below) and find the right photos, while Brianna’s team installed it.

The Basement: Before and After

We hope you’ll enjoy more interesting before and after photos of The Basement design project (and don’t forget to comment below with any thoughts!)

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Thank you Brianna for joining us on the blog!

Brianna is the owner of Rawbry – living healthy and more from the creative side – a lot of her clients in NY were cold press juice – she saw a hole in the market to do more attitude and edginess – with a design background with a business – location in the Basement and plans for growth in 2017 with new locations and wholesaling.

Mid Century Modern: Join the Convo

Sharon Honig-Bear is a HRPS tour leader, creator of the Mid-Century Modern walk, and founder of the annual Reno Harvest of Homes Tour, and today we’re very excited that she’ll be joining us on the blog!

Sharon will give us a sneak peek into an upcoming event at the Washoe County Library, where she will host a discussion on the Mid-Century design movement, examining the style both internationally and how it was interpreted in Reno. Join in on the conversation about this style of design…clean and functional? Ugly and bare? Organic? You decide! I’ll be attending the event so I hope to see you there [or email me to let me know!]

The History of the Mid Century Movement in Reno

Reno underwent a building boom in the 1960s and 70s to keep up with trends in modern architecture. At the upcoming event, Sharon will describe the features that defined the Mid-Century design movement, creating major changes in architecture and modern living.

Photos of Mid Century Modern Architecture in Reno

What Are Staples of Mid Century Design?

Some of the most common styles of mid century modern design include:

  • Connecting the inside with the outside
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Big open spaces
“We need to look at what is the best of mid century modern – it’s going to be gone if we don’t value it. Reno has very mixed tradition. In my talk, I will lay out the key principles that transform the way we look at buildings. It’s still a legacy in everything we do,” says Sharon
Mid Century Modern Areas in Reno:
Understanding that there are key buildings that stand out, let’s recognize them and give them their moment in the spotlight.
The Downtown Reno Library, which has been there since 60’s, is a mid century modern design. It was just recognized 2 years ago on the National Register of historic places.
If you drive down Plumb Lane, you can decide whether you think the buildings are pleasing at all. As Reno expanded in the 50s and 60s, they tried to keep up with new buildings – some people will say “what were we thinking?!”
The Grey Hound Station on 1st St. by the river is a mid century design and still has some pedigree, but if the full West 2nd Street project is approved, sadly it may be sacrificed.

During the boom in Reno, so much growth was going on: Interstate 80 was happening, Squaw Valley Olympics, and all of a sudden Reno was redefined from a cowpoke town to a bustling, expanding city. There are parallels you can draw to its growth such as the booming arts economy. But whenever boom happens, people forget what was there before.
And now, the older areas are being pulled down for “progress.” But what exactly is “progress?” There’s been some talk about building a modern, state of the art building near the University and knocking down some old Victorian homes, but 50 years from now, this “state of the art building” might even be an eye sore. Times change, colors change, and design changes – Legacy really is a moving target.

If you’re interested in learning more and want to be part of the discussion, check out the event on Sunday January 29, at 1:00pm at The Washoe County Library in downtown Reno. (This location is actually a perfect example of mid century modern design.) The beauty of this building is that the architect was unable to purchase the land at Wingfield Park (where the tennis courts are now) so he promised “If I can’t get the library in the park, then I’ll build a park in the library.” This quirky feature adds a lot of interest to the design. Come see for yourself!

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Endangered University Neighborhood Reno, NV

As a resident of Reno since 1981, I have great appreciation for this city, and am fascinated by the rich history that lives here. So it’s no secret that I’ve become a proud member of the Historic Reno Preservation Society, a local group dedicated to preserving the history of Truckee Meadows/Reno Nevada through education and advocating efforts.
I recently caught up with my friend Deb Hinman, managing editor for HRPS, and invited her to join our blog today to discuss what I believe is a pressing issue: the endangerment of a renowned University neighborhood. A group of beautiful historic homes may soon be demolished by the city, with recent plans to tear them down only to make room for larger, taller, newer buildings. Read on to learn more about how the HRPS and other concerned citizens plan to preserve these treasured Reno homes, and whether or not any advancements have been made.

Check out a Photo Gallery of the Neighborhood:

 

Q) So Deb, What’s the Latest with the Neighborhood?

A) Originally, as you know, the University owned the properties.  They have since acquired the Folsom/Atcheson house and the Donnels house, giving them all six Victorians on the west side of No. Center, the block between 8th and 9th streets.  And this is where Marc Johnson is bound and determined to put his massive, three-story business building.

Before the hue and cry from historic preservation groups and other concerned citizens, they were slated for demolition, though Johnson indicated people could move them if they paid to do so.  We (the Historical Resources Commission) suggested he place the building on the east side of Center where only one historic home and an unattractive concrete apartment block would need to be sacrificed.  Johnson won’t give a good reason why this can’t happen, he just reiterates it needs to be on the west side.
This whole issue was kind of shelved, as the university did not have the funds to build the business building.  But apparently they have now found funding and are looking to get started.  There was a report to the UNR Faculty Senate on Nov. 19th:  they announced they have a commitment that they will relocate the six houses in question.  They say they will make “every attempt” to keep them together and that they are considering a site south of the freeway that is now owned by the state.

Q) So what Does that Mean for the Houses?

A) Obviously, we prefer that the houses be moved rather than to demolish them but we are not enthusiastic about relocating them, either.  For one thing, it has happened that historic homes have been moved but no plan existed for them and they ended up suffering from “demolition by neglect.”  We could see this happening in this instance as well, as the university has not announced any plan to use the houses, either as residences or through adaptive reuse.  But the most critical issue with moving the houses, in my view, is that they will lose their historic significance when removed from their context as an integral early part of the university community.
They will (if cared for) be a bunch of cute little houses but in short time, no one will know or care where they came from or who occupied them.  For 120 some years, university staff, professors, high school teachers, parents and students lived in these houses and gave life to this neighborhood, sitting on their porches visiting with neighbors or passing students, walking to classes or strolling the quad on summer evenings.  I feel they are every bit as much a part of the campus as Morrill Hall or the Mackay School of Mines.

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