National Register of Historic Places in Modoc County

National Register #74000529: Nevada-California-Oregon Railway Headquarters in Alturas, California 24 September 2006
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National Register #74000529
Nevada-California-Oregon Railway Headquarters
619 North Main Street
Built 1917-1919

In 1917, the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway moved its headquarters from Reno to Alturas and replaced the modest NCO passenger depot with this Mission Revival building suitable for a grand Western enterprise. The glory days did not last. A decade later in 1927, the tentacles of the Southern Pacific Octopus reached north to finish off this romantic narrow-gauge venture.

The building shows a significant transition between two important periods in California architecture.

Elements of the earlier Mission Revival style are seen in the curved espadana gable of the facade, and in the mission style arches which surround the entrance. The influence of the later Spanish Colonial Revival style appears in the Churrigueresque ornamentation of the side entrance.

The building has a tile roof and a bell tower characteristic of both phases of the Spanish styles in California. The imposing belfry of the structure needed a set of bells in keeping with its Spanish architecture; with the exception of one metal bell the rest are wooden dummies, turned on the company lathe.

When the photograph was taken, the building housed the local chapter of the BPOE.

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