Forest Service seeks historic status for home
The U.S. Forest Service is requesting the White House at its Carson City ranger station be added to the city’s historic district.
The move comes at the same time the Forest Service may lose part of its property to a proposed Stewart Street extension from Carson Street to Curry Street.
The subject will be discussed during the Carson City Historic Architecture Review Commission meeting Tuesday at 5:30 at City Hall’s Capital Conference Room at 201 N. Carson Street.
District Ranger Gary Schiff said the request isn’t necessarily related to the Forest Service discussions with Carson City over the Stewart Street extension.
“I don’t know that there was deliberate thought in that regard,” Schiff said. “If you want to raise concerns about an issue, being a part of the historic district would help. It had crossed our minds, but I didn’t follow through until I had talked with (city officials). We didn’t go through (with filing the historic district applications) until we knew the city would support us.”
Schiff said he and service archeologists had come up with idea previous to the controversy with the Stewart Street extension. The Forest Service has always treated the house as a historic structure, he said. If it were in the historic district, Schiff said, there may be funds available to restore the house to its original condition.
Built in 1944, the White House was the home of the first Carson City forest ranger, E. Arnold Hanson. It was converted to an office in 1960 and is still used as office space, Schiff said.
The building and the Forest Service site sits on the remains of the Gardner Ranch, once a 300-acre spread in south Eagle Valley. Matthew Gardner owned the Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Co. and in 1870 built a two-story home in the same spot where the ranger station sits. The home burned in 1918 and the Forest Service started leasing the site from the state in 1941.
Mike Drews, chairman of the Carson City Historic Architecture Review Commission, said commissioners will consider the house’s architecture as well as its connection to historic people and places in their decision.
The house isn’t adjacent to the city’s historic district, but other sites have been added to the district.
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