Scott Sonner/ Assocaited Press This Thursday, March 8, 2018 photo shows the Nystrsom Guest House pictured in downtown Reno, Nev. The house is among two historical houses a developer wants to transfer for a revitalization task. Built in 1875, it was among the first boarding homes accommodating divorce-seekers who helped make Reno the “Divorce Capital of the World” throughout the 1930s because of its lax residency laws.
Sunday, March 11, 2018|3 a.m.
RENO– Two historical homes that depend on the path of its revitalization project in downtown Reno, including one that played a crucial role in the city’s development in the 1930s as the “Divorce Capital of the World,” will be relocated, not taken down, if a designer has its way.
Officials for Jacobs Home entertainment Inc. state they want to protect the 2 houses on the National Register of Historic Places so they’re seeking authorizations to move them instead of turning to the wrecking ball.
The Nystrom Visitor House worked as a divorce boarding home during a time when divorce-seekers gathered to Nevada from around the United States because of its lax residency requirements. More than 32,000 divorces were given in Washoe County from 1929 to 1939, a time when the county seat, Reno, had a population of about 18,000. By the late 1930s, the county was balancing 5,000 divorces a year.
Jacobs Entertainment CEO Jeff Jacobs stated in a declaration today they intend to apply for city demolition allows because property moving falls in the demolition classification. However he said it’s part of their moving plan connected to the plan for a $500 million arts, residential and entertainment passage on West 4th Street to be called the Fountain District.
” We acknowledge how important it is to the community to preserve Reno’s rich history and culture,” Jacobs stated. “We fully plan to keep the integrity of these structures as we progress with our moving efforts.”
The other developing the developer is looking for to transfer– the Borland-Clifford House, integrated in 1885– is among Reno’s oldest houses and among the only homes remaining in the area from the 19th century.
The business wants to begin moving it to personal property prior to completion of March, with the Nystrom Guest Home’s moving slated for this summer season.
A spokeswoman for the business stated it remains in talks with possible purchasers and movers who have requested privacy throughout the contract period.
Some critics would rather see your houses remain where they are.
” Moving isn’t truly a preferable conservation method. It’s a way of dealing with something that’s in the method,” local realty agent Barrie Lynn informed KTVN-TV.
” What makes this specific residential or commercial property so significant is its distance to downtown,” she stated.
Integrated in Reno in 1875, the Nystrom Guest Home began running as a boarding home catering to divorce-seekers by the 1920s. It became one of the most popular homes away from home for those aiming to establish the minimum six-week residency to get a divorce in Nevada.
The initial Gothic, wood-siding home now covered in stucco was constructed as the home of Washoe County Clerk J.S. Shoemaker. It changed hands several times in the 1920s and 1930s prior to it was bought throughout World War II by Victor and Estelle Nystrom, who moved from San Francisco particularly to participate in the divorce trade.
Currently noticing an increase in visitors to the area specifically to seek “quickie divorces,” state legislators cut Nevada’s residency requirement from 6 months to 3 months in 1927. And in 1931, Gov. Fred Balzar signed legislation that cut the duration from three months to 6 weeks.