CARSON CITY, Nev. – The downtown Reno church has a towering carillon bell tower and picturesque location along the Truckee River, and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Trinity Episcopal Cathedral represents the embodiment of the Late Gothic Revival style, said state officials who announced the new listing today. The National Park Service (NPS) recently cemented the cathedral’s importance in Northern Nevada history by listing it in the register.
The National Register recognizes places that are of historic and cultural significance, and expands opportunities for grant funding and tax incentives aimed at preserving and protecting these special sites for generations to come.
The listing, however, comes as a new development next to the cathedral will overshadow the church — literally. Councilmembers last year approved a massive luxury hotel next door after removing a shading ordinance to allow the development.
“We are not against the development; we are against the density of the development being proposed,” Lynne Charlat of the church said last year.
According to the state, the cathedral is not only significant as the only local example of a building designed by architect John Neal Tilton Jr., it is also the only example of a poured-concrete church in the Late Gothic Revival style in Reno.
“The beauty, elegance, and importance of this cathedral have been admired in Reno for over 70 years,” said Rebecca Palmer, administrator of the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. “Listing the cathedral with the National Register of Historic Places is well deserved and will help make it possible for the cathedral to be enjoyed by visitors and residents in the years ahead.”
The cathedral, situated on the south bank of the Truckee River, has a notable presence along the river.
“With our congregation having a presence in the Reno community for over 150 years now, we are delighted to have reached this milestone and have this recognition,” said The Very Rev. Dr. William L. Stomski, dean and rector of the Cathedral. “Some of the historical aspects of this great city have disappeared over the past several decades and we have so few gems like our cathedral that need to be preserved. Really, having this type of a structure in the middle of a northern desert is quite unique.”
Here is how the state characterized the building:
It is a large building with a tall, front-gabled main volume, buttressed side aisles, and a square bell tower. The walls are constructed of poured concrete. Gothic style design elements include pointed-arch door and window openings, vibrant stained-glass windows, and handsomely carved wooden doors. The interior features smooth plaster finishes, arcaded side aisles, and dramatic arched trusses at the nave ceiling. The building has a high level of physical integrity to the historic period.
The period of significance for the building is 1949 to 1958, beginning when the main body of the church was constructed and ending when a Modern-style parish hall was constructed on the site, officials said.