11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Mapes Hotel

Year Listed: 1998
Location: Nevada
Threat: Development

Significance

When the Mapes Hotel and Casino opened for business on December 17, 1947, it was the tallest building in Nevada and the first establishment to offer luxurious accommodations, fine dining, gambling and entertainment under one roof. Tony Bennett performed in the Sky Room -- one of many celebrities to pass through the doors. Besides being a show-biz hangout, the hotel was a fixture of community life, hosting local proms, club meetings and holiday parties. In 1982 the Mapes closed its doors, the victim of changing times and tastes. In 1998, supporters envisioned it as the centerpiece of a proposed cultural district--but the Reno Redevelopment Agency, which owns the building, was unable to provide the $6 million that a developer says he needs to make the project viable. Unless the necessary funding is found soon, the city council will likely to vote to demolish the Mapes.