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Cathedral in downtown Reno nominated for national historic designation

The cathedral complex of St. Thomas Aquainas from the perspective of Arlington and Second Street. To the right of the complex is the skeletal structure of a new building. To the left is a high rise.
Gustavo Sagrero
KUNR Public Radio
The cathedral complex of St. Thomas Aquainas at dusk.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral complex in Reno has been nominated to join the National Register of Historic Places.

If approved, the cathedral complex would join a long list of nationally recognized historic places around the City of Reno. Councilmember Jenny Brekhus presides over the ward where the church is located.

“It’s just an opportunity to thank the diocese for their continued stewardship of that beautiful jewel and taking it to the next level in their preservation effort," said Brekhus.

The designation would open the doors for the church complex to receive private foundation money to restore some of the building. That includes reconstructing the front entrance stairs and re-securing the stained glass windows. Above all else, Father Chuck Durante says updating the façade of the school building is a top priority.

“It's starting to crumble, and so we've secured it now for safety purposes, but we need to redo that,” said Durante.

The Cathedral has burned down multiple times since its initial founding. Its current brick and mortar version today was completed in 1910. The only things left from the original are the archways and the bell towers.

Church leaders hope alongside the opportunity to raise funds for restoration efforts, it creates more awareness of the historic relevance of the downtown Reno area.

Corrected: January 20, 2022 at 11:05 AM PST
This story has been corrected to clarify that while the cathedral has been nominated for national historic designation, the City of Reno did not make that nomination. Additionally, Father Chuck Durante's name has been corrected and the year the current version of the cathedral was built has been updated to 1910. We regret the errors.
Gustavo Sagrero is a former bilingual reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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