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Newlands Neighborhood

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This area atop a bluff overlooking the Truckee River and parts of Reno has been the city's most elegant and most desirable neighborhood since the early twentieth century. The majority of structures here were erected from the 1890s to the 1940s. Many of the oldest buildings along Court and Elm Court streets are visible from Riverside Park across the river. Breaking away from the downtown grid, winding streets follow the topography of the land. They are lined with a variety of building styles and types, including Classical Revival mansions, Tudor Revival cottages, bungalows, apartment houses, and duplexes. The largest dwellings stand along the bluff, whereas more modest structures are located inland. The district's proximity to downtown has encouraged owners with buildings closest to main roads to convert their structures to offices. Attempts to list the neighborhood as a National Register Historic District have been unsuccessful, defeated by a majority of property owners who incorrectly believe that the listing would infringe upon their property rights. This belief is commonly held in Nevada and has been a major obstacle to historic preservation. In fact, only local preservation ordinances can impose restrictions. A more recent development is the fear that listing on the National Register will encourage developers to convert residential buildings for commercial use, such as offices, in order to obtain a federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic properties. However, National Register listing and adherence to stringent rehabilitation guidelines are required in order to obtain the credits, which can be substantial.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Julie Nicoletta

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