Mapes Demolition

I was going through some old pictures, and I found these. I thought it would be fun to post them. These are from the morning the Hotel Mapes in Reno was demolished, January 30, 2000. My friend and I went down to witness it (at something like 8:00 in the morning…jeez) and we wandered around for a while in the aftermath. A fine layer of dust settled on everything, and we scooped up some of it and put it in a jar. I’m proud to say I still have my Mapes Dust on my mantle.

The full set of photos, 17 in all, can be found at Flickr. Here are few highlights of The Pile.

Mapes Hotel Pile

Mapes Hotel Pile

Mapes Hotel Pile

Update: I guess I forgot to put up a “before” picture of the Mapes, for those who weren’t around when it was still standing. This one is from Flickr user lasvegasmikey.

Mapes Hotel


  1. The demolition of the Mapes was a horrible loss. The whole thing was a giant fiasco orchestrated by our former Mayor, Jeff Griffin. The citizens of Reno were promised great things for that site, and years later all we have is an ice rink and underutilized public plaza. No first class restaurants, no bold and artistic canopy for the rink, no decent shopping, just a plain jane ice rink and a grassy knoll. At the time, the Mapes had been closed for quite a while and was run down, but if it had been spared the wrecking ball just a few years longer I’m sure it would have been converted to condos given the current trend. Just think how nicely a revamped and spruced up Mapes would compliment the Riverside Artist Lofts. Plus, how cool would it be to say that you live in the building where Marilyn Monroe and countless other legends once stayed? Ahhh……what could have been. 🙁

  2. I am still just sick about the loss of the Mapes. I am in search of some photography of this great building. I would love to decorate my home with the haunting images of this grand structure that was lost. If you know of any for sale, please let me know. Oh how I used to love visiting Reno when I was a child. I would stand and just gaze at the Mapes while my mother told me of all the great movie stars who used to frequent it. I loved to daydream about what it looked like inside, even in it’s run down condition.

  3. I worked at the Mapes Hotel restaurant in 1968, and again in the mid-70’s as an elevator operator. I was working the day that a theatre just next to the Mapes was demolished (we were informed of the time, and told to halt running the elavators for that short span because of possible seismic activity, that never really was noticed inside the hotel or elevator car); that event had caused a lot of controversy, as I’m sure the razing of the lovely old hotel caused. Public outcry didn’t count for much in either case. I used to love it when the Sky Room was open for luncheons or special occasions. Such a nice view…from such a nostalgic room.
    I was saddened when I learned of the demise of the place. It really was a special place. With all the ups and downs (pun intended), I thoroughly enjoyed working there.

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