The state has announced that the old National Guard buildings on South Carson Street, by Colorado (see on a map), are going to be demolished later this year. I was just wondering about these buildings a couple of weeks ago when I drove past. The Nevada National Guard called this complex home for about 50 years, but they moved out six years ago and ever since then it’s just been sitting there abandoned. Driving past is like visiting any other abandoned military base, with the cracked sidewalks, broken windows, and dead trees, except it’s right on the main road through town so it’s a big eyesore.
The demolition is scheduled to start in October and continue into next year. It’s going to be done in two stages because money is tight, so even demolition budgets are being cut back. That’s the same reason the Kinkead Building hasn’t been torn down yet; no money to do it. Apparently these buildings must be a higher priority if they’re coming down first.
The land is going to be used as a new home for several state offices, but it sounds like plans haven’t been firmed up yet as to exactly which agencies will move in or what types of buildings will be built. Carson City, apparently, is miffed because they wanted to buy the land, and the state turned them down. The city wanted the land so they could turn around and sell it to a developer and turn it into a shopping center or an auto dealership. The state flat out refused. Kind of reminds me of how the city wanted to buy the federal building downtown as a new home for the city library, and Washington D.C. flat out said no. And, just like in the library case, the city is refusing to take no for an answer.
Mayor Marv Teixeira said the sale is in the best interest of both the city and the state.
“Why would the state want to hold onto a piece of property when it’s prime commercial land?” he said. “I would hope they would be flexible enough to let us market that property.”
Joe McCarthy, city economic development manager, said the city has continued to tell the state that it would like to buy the property if it is willing to sell it.
Well, whatever happens, these buildings should be completely gone in 18 months or so. No big loss to the city; they’re not remarkable in any way, unless you like depressing modernist architecture. But their demolition will create a big hole in a place where there was always a big something, and that is always fascinating to see.