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Railroad Cottages

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c. 1907, Western Pacific Railroad. Southwest corner of Silver and 6th sts.
  • (Photograph by Julie Nicoletta)

Another reminder of the Western Pacific Railroad, these three identical one-story, brick cottages with hipped roofs provide an odd note of uniformity on an otherwise typically varied street. Each house has a central entrance flanked by double-hung windows. Low segmental arches topping windows and doors are the only decorative feature. The roof overhang projects forward to create a porch at the front.

The city's relocation of the railroad from downtown has altered the cottages' original physical context, but their identical appearance indicates their original function as railroad workers' housing, usually a simple expression of domestic architecture. These three dwellings are unusual for Nevada in that they are constructed of brick rather than wood. They were located near the tracks and yards for the convenience of the railroads, which used identical plans to facilitate rapid construction. In their symmetry and regular placement along the road, these cottages reflect the order that the railroads wished to impose on their towns by means of the linearity of the urban grid and the order of the railroad yards. They continue to provide modest-income housing.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Railroad Cottages", [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.

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