Ormsby House Renovation Photos – January, 2003

In January I took a walk around the building, to capture some of the details that would probably soon be gone. These are the “before” shots, so in three years when it’s completely different (we hope), one can look back, remember the boarded-up look it had during those derelict years, and shudder with revulsion. I had to focus on the northern half, since all the fixtures and Fake Rock™ had already been ripped from the southern face of the building.

The main entrance. I guess this isn’t a “before” shot so much as a “during”. The portecochere has been ripped from its housing, the Fake Rock™ is half-missing, and everything just looks run down. At their current rate of renovation, I expect it to look like this for at least a year. Note the second floor doors. More on those later.

This is more like it. A shiny gold sign advertises the casino itself, while a smaller sign promises good food and train-themed fun in the V&T Coffee Shop. Fake Rock™ is still intact here. Bums love sleeping in that little alcove by the street.

The northeast corner. I think it’s going to take a lot of demolition experts to completely rid this property of the Guns N’ Roses motif. If they’re offering, though, I want that big gold sign for my garage.

The windows for the aforementioned V&T Coffee Shop. Notice how they’re shaped like the mountains? Clever folks, those Ormsbyites. Refelective glass, too, so you couldn’t see the patrons inside and the train-themed fun they were undoubtedly having. The coffee shop even had a model railroad circling its ceiling. Probably long-since dismantled.

Behold Carson City’s only skyscraper. It’s the only thing that even comes close to the title. Not to say there aren’t pretenders to the throne — there are a couple of other motels and office buildings that have four or five stories. And the Capitol dome still threatens to reach out and touch the sky. But only the Ormsby House dared to knock the Capitol from its perch and scale the dizzying heights of ten floors!

It’s curious to note that the hotel had ten floors, and there indeed are only ten floors when you count windows on the side of the building. But at this edge of the building you can count eleven. There’s that strange little half-floor at the very top, with no windows. What could have been in there? Storage? A bat-filled attic? A secret shrine for mole-men? The mind boggles.

Notice the 30-year old ghost sign that still lives at the top floor, next to the mole-man shrine. There used to be a Guns N’ Roses emblem up here too, spanning a full story and a half, but the demolition guys got to that one already. And those white posts used to hold the neon sign, which was one of the first things to go.

As we swing around the top of the building, you can see how things are falling apart. Looks like the acid rain has been taking its toll.

I’d say this place is about ten years overdue for a remodel.

Here’s the front door. Again with the Guns N’ Roses. These aren’t going to be the front doors anymore, since apparently they want the front doors to be on the side of the building, so the side of the building will now be the front of the building. And instead of turning the whole building around to do this, they just moved the doors, so what used to be the side doors are now the front doors, and what used to be the front doors are now just some weird doors that open to the street. Got that?

Here’s the back door, in what I’m assuming will remain the back of the building. The sign says:

We are undertaking an extensive and time consuming remodeling project. We are projected to reopen the hotel and casino approximately one year from now. Please follow our progress as the project goes forward.

One year, indeed. The sign looks like it’s at least two years old. Also, notice the reappearance of Fake Rock™, this time in reflection form. That’s actually the parking garage, which is adorned with the stuff as well.

Here’s the parking garage, in all its Fake Rock™ glory. I’m not sure how much they’re changing the look of this, so we’ll see if the Rock™ stays or goes.

Here, high above the street, is a Fake Door™. There are many of these on the second floor exterior, as you can see in some of the wider shots. They’re about fifteen feet tall, so they were apparently built for Andre the Giant.

A nice little lamp in a sea of Fake Rock™. I’d like this for my garage too, if nobody claims it.

The parking lot across the street has this nice little sign, with not one, but two faded Guns N’ Roses. To get to the casino from here you have to sprint across the main street in a narrow crosswalk, hoping you don’t get hit by the semis. Your first gamble of the day!

The back wall of the hotel. The windows at the bottom are from the little outcropping where the buffet used to be. You can see, in the windows, that the morning sun is shining straight through the building and reflecting off the unfinished ceiling. The whole damn hotel is still gutted. I don’t think they’ll be open by the 4th of July.

Here, up on the hill, you can see right through the hotel. When they said they were going to gut the building, they weren’t kidding! Now, I guess, the hard part is to rebuild this empty square footage into Five Star luxury suites. Godspeed, gentlemen.

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