The Downtown Elks Lodge

ElksFlood copya>A couple of readers inquired following this week’s Sierra Street column, about the downtown Elks Lodge, which was destroyed in the February 1957 downtown gas explosion and ensuing fire. The best photo of that structure that I can find ain’t much; it came from the “Reno Flood 1950” booklet, attribution to Modern Photo please, taken from the Riverside Hotel, © Reno Junior Chamber of Commerce 1951. The Elks Lodge is prominent in the view below the V arrow; across Sierra Street are several office buildings. The closest to the Truckee is the “Bennett building”, owned by real estate magnate Norman Biltz (later Holiday Hotel owner). To the north is a medical building with doctors such as Drs. Reno, Valenta, Gerow, Stahr and Lombardi (as I recall). That building had been razed prior to the 1957 fire and was rebuilt as a smaller building by the law firm of William Sanford, Sr. In the foreground of the photo, on the south shore of the swollen Truckee River, is Island Avenue, under water. To the left – west – is Hermann & Wilson, Chrysler-Plymouth dealer. To the extreme right the Granada Theater is visible.

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