NoeHill Travels in the American West: Nevada

National Register of Historic Places in Washoe County

National Register #98001303: Landrum's Hamburger System No. 1 in Reno The White Building with Green Trim
15 March 2016
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #98001303
Landrum's Hamburger System No. 1
1300 South Virginia Street
Built 1947

This prefabricated diner was manufactured by Valentine Manufacturing, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas and shipped to Reno via flat car for assembly at its current location in 1947. Valentine Manufacturing promoted their diners as "... absolutely the most fool proof operation in the world. The only thing the customer had to do was run the foundation and hook up the electricity, gas, and sewer."

This is an example of Valentine's smallest model, called the Little Chef, designed to accommodate from six to ten customers and to allow a single operator to make a reasonable living from one unit.

This building is the only prefabricated diner in Reno. It is typical of a large number of such diners built across the United States, incorporating the Art Moderne style of the 1930s and early 1940s. These diners were precursors to the fast food franchises such as McDonald's and Burger King, which became American icons during the 1950s.

Landrum's, although its style was set by the manufacturer, conforms to the general manner in which Art Deco and Art Moderne styles were manifested in Reno during the 1930s and 1940s.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination form submitted in 1998.

When we photographed the building in March 2016, it housed Beefy's, a burger joint that earned an enthusiastic 4½ Yelp stars.

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