You are here


-A A +A
3rd and Douglas sts.
  • Brothels (Bret Morgan)

Unlike Winnemucca's brothels, which are some distance from the town center, Elko's are near the downtown in a modest neighborhood of houses and mobile homes. Although none of the brothels displays a particular architectural style, they have some common features. All are one-story buildings and have long, rectangular footprints. The only exceptions are Mona's Ranch (1915, many alterations), 103 South 3rd Street, and Sue's (1970), 171 South 3rd Street, each of which has a two-story main section with a long one-story ell. The first floor of the main section contains a large room with a bar, where clients are served drinks and look over the women. The ells contain small bedrooms indicated on the exterior by the closely spaced windows in the upper half of the wall. One of Elko's oldest brothels, Mona's Ranch, has been extensively remodeled inside and out over the years. Though the buildings are undistinguished, their neon signs, lit up at night, bathe the street in a warm glow intended to attract customers.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Brothels", [Elko, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 157-157.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.