Visit the Lake Mansion
If you are with a school or community group and would like to schedule a group tour, drop by or call VSA Nevada’s Program Director at (775) 826-6100 ext. 2# or our Administrative Assistant at (775) 826-6100 ext. 3#.
VSA Nevada opens the doors of the beautiful and historic Lake Mansion for self-guided tours on weekdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (unless closed for a meeting/event).
Built in 1877, five prominent Reno families lived here through 1971. The mansion was originally built on the corner of California Avenue and South Virginia Street, about six blocks southeast of its current location. In 1971, Washoe Landmark Preservation moved the mansion to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center location on the corner of Virginia Street and Kietzke Lane, about three miles south. The second move, by VSA Nevada, was in 2004 to its present location, three miles north! VSA Nevada, a non-profit organization, now owns and operates the Mansion. Your donation is tax deductible and very much appreciated to help maintain the Lake Mansion.
The door you entered through, opens into the back parlor/family parlor. It houses the only original fireplace in the mansion. The painting above the fireplace depicts the mansion at its original location. One of the first phones in Reno was installed by Jane Lake when she lived here between 1888-1902. This is not the original phone, but one similar would have been used.
The double-door front entrance (on Court Street) is located off the front parlor. Some of the furniture is from the Lake family and is indicated. Jane Lake bought a piano for this parlor, although this is not the original. Margaret Turrillas, one of the last owners to live here, taught piano lessons here.
This staircase lead to four upstairs bedrooms, which were at one time apartments and now house VSA Nevada offices. The staircase’s newel post and handrail are hand carved and original.
Library & Master Bedroom
The entry hall leads to the library, which is also adjacent to the original master bedroom. The glass transoms over these rooms were used for air circulation in the summer. These two rooms are now used for VSA Nevada’s Arts Access Gallery. Artwork created by Nevada artists with disabilities is on display and for sale.
Please enter here through the back parlor. There are photographs, paintings and Lake Mansion memorabilia. There are also photos of the 1971 and 2004 moves of the Mansion.
The kitchen was added when Jane Lake lived here from 1888-1902. This addition included indoor plumbing. Before this addition, water was pumped from a well on the back porch. The kitchen was renovated when the Mansion was moved in 2004 to accomodate self-catered and catered functions at the mansion. The kitchen, although still in the “look” of a period kitchen, has a hidden beverage refrigerator, warming drawers, convection oven, etc.