National Register of Historic Places in Washoe County
The El Cortez Hotel was built in 1931 and expanded several times between 1931 and 1940. Designed by the architectural firm of George A. Ferris and Son in the Art Deco style, it was the tallest building in Reno.
With the foliated motif and stylized terra cotta decoration at base and parapet, stepped frontispiece with framing volutes, and overall vertical emphasis, it is an excellent example of the Art Deco style. Later Art Moderne elements added to the storefront level are architecturally and esthetically compatible.
When the El Cortez Hotel was listed on the National Register in 1984, it was one of only three remaining large Art Deco buildings in Reno. The other two were the Main Post Office and the Mapes Hotel. The Mapes Hotel was demolished in the year 2000.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination form submitted in 1984.
When we photographed the El Cortez Hotel in March 2016, it was still operating under the name El Cortez and offering furnished studio apartments and one bedroom apartments for rent.