Nevada Discovery Museum Update

A few weeks back I had the chance to tour the Nevada Discovery Museum and check in on their progress. The building is no completely gutted, with an 18-month construction stint slated to begin as soon as the remaining permits are pulled, which should be by the end of May. So here's a little tour! Keep in mind when viewing these pictures, this building used to be walled off into dozens of office spaces when it used to be City Hall. The amount of progress made is impressive.


Expanded Entrance
  • Expanded Entrance
    This is looking toward Center Street from the front of the Nevada Discovery Museum. When construction begins, the building will be expanded to almost where the sidewalk is.
  • Main Entrance
    This will be the main entrance to the building. Included in this area will be a cafe, a glass atrium area, and an interior bus unloading area so kids do not have to exit the buses from the outside of the building.
  • Main Entrance
    This is the main entrance area of the Nevada Discovery Museum. Notice how much has been demo'd thus far.
  • Main area of Nevada Discovery Museum
    Main area of Nevada Discovery Museum
  • New Expanded Area
    This part of the building will be expanded significantly.
  • Main Interior
    Main interior of building.
  • Main Interior
    Primary entrance area of the Nevada Discovery Museum
  • Nevada Stories Entrance
    This is the Entrance to the Nevada Stories section of the Nevada DIscovery Museum. In this area, children will find rotating exhibits and activities centered around Nevada.
  • Nevada Stories
    Nevada Stories section of Nevada Discovery Museum
  • Nevada Stories area
    Nevada Stories area. From the moment a visitor steps into Nevada Stories, they begin participating in Nevada's history. Here, the tales of our unique state can be experienced.
  • Nevada Stories area
    Planned Nevada Stories area.
  • Nevada Stories
    Nevada Stories area at Nevada Discovery Museum.
  • Atrium area.
    One of the highlights of the Nevada Discovery Museum building, co-designed by renowned architect Frederick Delongchamps, is a huge 40+ foot atrium. This will become the Cloud Climber.
  • Atrium
    Large atrium area.
  • Atrium
    Large atrium area.
  • Nevada Stories Scale of Building
    Workers hanging out in the proposed Nevada Stories area. With people in the shot, you can see the massive scale of just this one area.
  • My Town
    The My Town area of the Nevada Discovery Museum will feature real life scenario theme sub-areas such as a doctor's office, a auto-mechanics shop, a grocery store, etc.
  • My Town
    Another look at the My Town area with the sign in the foreground.
  • Atrium
    A look at the atrium from the entrance to My Town
  • Build It!
    Build It will be an area that fosters maximum creativity. Here, they can learn about building and the energy behind it. They can further understand alternative energy sources, make discoveries about materials and become aware of the many simple things consumers can do to conserve the world's resources.
  • Build It
    Build It! area.
  • Build It! area
    Another angle of the Build It! area.
  • Build It! Sign
    A rendering of the Build It! area.
  • Build It!
    A look down the U-Shaped Build It area again.
  • DaVinci's Corner
    For the artistic side of kids, there is Da Vinci's Corner, an area where kids can draw, create, paint, envision, and everything else that is art.
  • DaVinci's Corner
    A different angle of Da Vinci's Corner.
  • Little Discoveries
    For the uber-young, there is Little Discoveries. A special place for the youngest museum visitors, the Little Discoveries space is just for infants, toddlers and their caregivers to provide a perfect, protected environment. This special learning environment focuses on the developmental abilities and milestones of infants and toddlers where they can experience, pretend, explore and discover. Also, caregivers are provided with an environment that helps them understand and enrich their little one's development.
  • Little Discoveries
    Another look at the Little Discoveries section.
  • Space Odyssey
    "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that." Ok ok couldn't resist. That's what comes to mind where I hear the term Space Odyssey. This will be a futuristic area where kids will learn the basics of space and space exploration. This exhibit gallery may not open with the museum's grand opening due to budget constraints, however will open soon after.
  • Bushman's Kitchen
    Most locals in Reno know of Jennifer Bushman. She's an incredible cook who teaches classes, occasionally doing spots for local news broadcasts. Anyway, the Nevada Discovery Museum is planning an exhibit involving her and teaching children the basics of food and nutrition. Good idea! This is where that section will go.
  • Entrance
    Another look at the entrance area.
  • Cavernous
    The lower levels of the building are almost cavernous, so much demo work has been done.
  • Atrium lower level
    Atrium from the lower level. From the bottom floor you can see the massive size. On this lower bottom floor will be Water Works, a working model of the Tahoe-Truckee-Pyramid Lake water ecosystem kids can explore, with the massive Cloud Climber looming overhead.
  • Starry Nights
    This area will be a camp-out of sorts. Located in the lower level of the building, it will be dark, with stars in the night sky, a simulated camp fire and camp site in the middle of a forest, where kids can listen to ghost stories or ride in canoe.
  • Starry Nights
    Another angle of the Starry Nights section.
  • Starry Nights Area
    Another shot of the Starry Nights area.
  • Extra Space
    If you have ever been in the bowels of the old city hall building, it's huge. This area will be reserved for expansion in the future. This is one primary reason they chose this building, it has lots of expandable space.
  • Space for future exhibits
    Another look at the space reserved for future expansion.
  • Parking Garage
    The parking garage, located underneath the building, will be reserved for employees to provide safe parking.
  • Future Expansion area
    Another area reserved for future expansion.
  • Deep in the building
    Now we're REALLY deep into the's almost bomb shelter like.
  • Office Space
    Some of the building on the Sinclair Street side will be office space.

  • Nevada Stories
    Nevada Stories area
  • Nevada Stories overview
    Nevada Stories area
  • Nevada Stories area
    Nevada Stories area
  • My Town
    My Town area
  • My Town
    Auto Shop area of My Town
  • Space odyssey
    Space odyssey area
  • Space Odyssey
    Space Odyssey
  • Space Odyssey
    Space Odyssey
  • Little Discoveries
    Little Discoveries Area
  • Little Discoveries area.
  • Cloud Climber/Atrium
    Here you can see the massive cloud climber, which stretches up over 40 feet. Waterworks is on the bottom floor.
  • Starry Nights and Comstock Mines areas
    Starry Nights and Comstock Mines areas of the Nevada Discovery Museum
  • Cafe and Main Entrance
    Cafe and main entrance area.
  • Cafe
    Cafe and main lobby
  • Nevada Stories entrance
    entrance to Nevada Stories area
  • Overview
    Overview of exterior of building.

Expanded Entrance


Post your comments
Posted by: Brian - 5/3/2008 1:24:52 PM
Cool to see this progress. It will be great for the youth to have place to visit, learn and enjoy.

Posted by: Rouge - 5/4/2008 9:49:59 AM
Looks like it's going to be an exciting museum! Just one thing for those new to Reno - I'd love to see a photo of the current building's exterior so I can identify it?

Posted by: not much the urban adventurer - 5/5/2008 7:12:16 PM
at least not on such short notice. Maybe someone else is able to produce an image soon... It's just that I'm not up to fighting evening shadows of large federal buildings... but I can say that if you didn't know what you were looking for, you just might miss it. From the street it's a low slung and "obvious" "modern" brick office building... but consider what we see in the mock-ups of what it will look like after the conversion (Thanks for the pics, DMD! Would you be willing to offer a history of the purchase/transfer? Seems it didn't catch much the attention of the local media)... One would have to be flying way too fast down Center Street to miss it then.