Lake Mansion in Reno connects past, present & future during Artown

The Lake Mansion in Reno, Nevada (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

The walls are hand-carved, and the glass on the doors is hand-cut.

The address has changed twice, but the historic Lake Mansion still stands, offering a bridge from Reno's past to its present and future.

The mansion was build in 1877 and named for its first owner, Myron Lake. It was originally located n the corner of California Avenue and Virginia Street, a location that became known as Reno's first address.

It moved from that location to what is now the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in 1971, then to its current location at the corner of Court Street and Arlington Avenue.

Lake Mansion was one of the first buildings in Reno to have a telephone and electric lights. Several original features have been preserved, including the stove fireplace, furniture and artwork.

Visitors can also see photographs of Maria and Jerome Marsh, the mansion's builders, and a painting of what Reno looked like way back in 1862.

Now, the Lake Mansion is the center of Arts for All Nevada, a non-profit organization that offers hundreds of programs related to the arts for kids and adults. The library and master bedroom show Nevada's present, hosting artwork created by local artists who have disabilities.

Mary Ellen Horan, executive director for Arts For All, said they've had several events and programs during July for Artown, including art camps, four guided tours a week, a "Yard and Art Sale," Wine and Sip events, several one-night workshops and the Summer Family Arts Festival.

"It's been a busy month," she said.

The tours and programs have had great receptions during July, according to Horan. The Lake Mansion has been involved in Artown since the latter's inception in 1996.

Many people visit 250 Court Street for their first time during Artown for the guided tours and programs, and Horan said the month brings in people who wouldn't normally visit.

"It's been a good opportunity for people to see the mansion," she explained, adding that one tour had about 70 people recently.

As the Mansion continues to showcase Reno's past and promote its present, it also hosts the future. Camps are held during the summer and fall for kids to learn about art and create their own masterpieces, from theater to paintings to even illustrated books.

Horan said Arts for All expects to continue holding guided tours on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon and 1 p.m. once Artown concludes.

To learn more about Arts for All Nevada and the Lake Mansion, visit

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