Reno Arch

Reno, United States

Reno Arch


The Reno Arch is an iconic landmark in Reno, Nevada spanning Virginia Street at the intersection with Commercial Row. The current sign is the third version of the arch. It is owned and operated by the City of Reno. The original arch was built on October 23, 1926 to commemorate the completion of the Lincoln and Victory Highways. The current arch was installed on August 8, 1987, retrofitted with new lights on November 17, 2009 and had its design scheme revised to blue and silver on May 3, 2018. The arch is a prominent feature of downtown Reno and for most of its history has featured the city's motto, The Biggest Little City in the World.

The first Arch was built on October 23, 1926 to promote the Nevada Transcontinental Highway Exposition that ran from July 25 to August 1, 1927, which celebrated the completion of the Lincoln and Victory Highways. Through Nevada, these routes were built along the corridors of modern U.S. Route 50 and Interstate 80, respectively. After the exposition, the city council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway. The council announced a contest to find a slogan to replace the exposition lettering on the arch. G. A. Burns of Sacramento won $100 for his slogan, "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World." The slogan first appeared on the arch on June 25, 1929, along with an illuminated torch on both sides of the city name. In 1934, some residents complained about the new slogan and it was replaced with a green neon "RENO"; however, after the ensuing backlash over its removal, the slogan returned with new lettering as well as the removal of the torches. After being replaced in 1963, the original arch was moved to Idlewild Park for a few years, until the street it crossed at the park was widened. The arch was in storage for some years, but in 1994, the sign was reassembled for use in the movie Cobb. Since 1995, the sign has been located on Lake Street, just south of the Truckee River at (39.525718°N 119.809785°W / 39.525718; -119.809785).

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