EXCEPTIONAL URBAN HOMES
"Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place it holds in a city's memory."
~ Herbert Muschamp, American architecture critic
Look closely at the sign on Walker Electronics and you can still make out the name of the original business: Wilson Avenue Market. This building began as a neighborhood grocery store in 1938. Today the Coca Cola emblems still adorn the building's exterior and the grocer's glass and wood display case still occupies the building, however instead of food items, Mr. Walker displayed radio tubes and other electronics. Walker Electronics was in business from 1953 until May of 2014.
Toward the end of his career, Mr. Walker had many people ask him if he would be willing to sell his building. Its just one of those buildings a person wants to own, one of Reno's landmarks. We were among the many and every six months or so, for the past ten years, Kelly Rae would go to Walker Electronics and ask Mr. Walker if he would be interested in selling his building. He always said no. It got to the point where Kelly would simply stand outside the window and tap on the glass. Mr. Walker would look up from his work, and shake his head: still no.
Then one day he looked up, just as he always had. But ths time he shook his head yes. And now this little brick gem, with its cool metal awning, vintage exterior lighting and porcelain Coca Cola signs, belongs to us! We asked Mr. Walker why he chose to sell his building to us. He said it was because we never gave up. Persistence pays off.
Our vision for this neighborhood landmark was to repurpose it as a residence. With each project we like to utilize found onsite materials for new uses. The Walker building was a gold mine! We repurposed the old floor joists as planter boxes. One wall in the living room will be clad in the old pine subfloor. The concrete utility sink will become window dressing filled with colorful plants. We are also using all of Mr. Walker's vintage ceiling light fixtures in the bedroom and office areas. And best of all, the glass case, original to the grocery store will find new life as a kitchen prep and bar area. The awning, lighting and Coca Cola emblems will remain in their original locations. Add all new modern tile, appliances, kitchen cabinets and you have a fantastic modern home set inside a 1938 envelope.
Mr. Walker, age 86, still walks from his home in south Reno to the shop every day to check on things...so far, he likes the progress!