The Fine Arts Centennial building was first the LDS Tabernacle; then Construction Offices; then Reno/Las Vegas Catholic Diocese property
When President Reagan announced in 1980 that the MX Missle Project would be halted in White Pine County, the owner of the out-of-town construction company gave the “Old Mormon Church” to the Reno/Las Vegas Catholic Diocese. Sacred Heart Catholics already had a beautiful church on Murry Street and Sacred Heart School with a large campus on 11th Street. Sacred Heart had already started planning a new church to house its entire membership. Additional facilities were not needed by Sacred Heart – nor additional expenses. The building was vacant beginning in 1980 to the mid 1980’s.
As happens with vacant buildings, the former Tabernacle was vandalized. Glass windows were broken. The furnace broke down. The water pipe in one of the restrooms burst, damaging the hardwood floor in that restroom and in the downstairs theatre. Fortunately this was discovered before the hardwood floor in the main floor auditorium was damaged. All kinds of animals – both human and otherwise – used the building in destructive ways. Finally the windows were boarded up, thus making access to vandalism, etc., far more difficult. The Catholic Diocese had the property appraised: $350,000! Now Who and What and How!
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