National Register of Historic Places in Washoe County
The McKinley Park School, designed by architect George Ferris, is a particularly fine representative of the Mission Revival style. The school is one of the "Spanish Quartet" of Reno grammar schools constructed at virtually the same time and almost identical in design. Of the four schools constructed between 1909 and 1912, only two survive. The other, Mount Rose Elementary School, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
The schools were lauded for their modern convenience and technology, as well as their potential capacities to serve as community focal points. They represent a spurt in building intended to answer the growing needs of Reno. The principal town of Nevada was growing, becoming the financial and bureaucratic hub of the Newlands Reclamation Project and the Tonopah and Goldfield silver and gold strikes of central Nevada.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination form submitted in 1985.
The building ceased operating as a school in 1975. When we photographed it in March 2016, it was home to the McKinley Arts & Culture Center.