By Kimberly Turner
Rich in history, the Nixon Mansion takes its name from its original owner, Nevada Senator George S. Nixon, who built the prestigious estate in 1907 on property purchased from fellow Senator Francis G. Newlands. The Italian villa, on 2.03 acres in Reno, Nevada, originally had 33 rooms, and was one of the first residences in Reno to have an elevator.
Recently listed for $20.4 million by Sandi Solomonson, Donna Spear and Trinkie Watson of Chase International, the home commands spectacular views of downtown Reno, the Truckee River and Peavine Mountain. Following a fire in 1979 that left the mansion uninhabitable, current owners (who purchased the property in 2002) spent the past decade restoring the 17,964-square-foot property both inside and out.
“It is a beautiful home and is a nice contribution back to the city of Reno because it has been beautifully done,” says Watson.
Reminiscent of Old World elegance, the stately formal dining room with a carved mahogany fireplace, provides seating for 60 guests under the original crystal chandelier. Serve guests from the new 860-square-foot kitchen wing, which features a butler’s pantry, laundry room and a 60-inch La Crue French range.
An 800-square-foot grand ballroom with Boiserie finish walls offers additional space for entertaining, as well as a 1,800-bottle wine cellar and tasting area, a game room with wet bar (which can easily serve as a theater, music studio or private gallery) and a sun-lit morning breakfast room. The expansive outdoor covered terrace overlooking the Truckee River provides another space for entertaining.
Though grand in nature, the home also lends itself to intimate social gatherings in the parlor, library, and the river-view bar. Also, the nine fireplaces throughout the home lend an air of warmth to any occasion.
“It is very light and cheerful,” says Watson. “And even though it is a grand formal house, it still feels comfortable inside so you don’t have to feel like you have to wear your white gloves.”
The master suite includes two Carrara marble bathrooms, each with a custom mahogany walk-in closet, a garden-view Juliet balcony and a private office that provides views of the river below. Seven additional en suite bedrooms offer ample accommodations for guests.
“This home lends itself to a family that has kids and is active,” says Watson. “It could also be used as a corporate retreat or someone that entertains a lot and wants to accommodate their guests with a place to stay.”
Just a short drive to the Reno Tahoe International Airport, Lake Tahoe’s azure waters and University of Nevada sports and cultural events, this Northern Nevada crown jewel is well-located. In addition, it is walking distance to the River Walk, a stretch along the Truckee River with restaurants, bars, a movie theater and more.
“Because it is such a large home, the fact that somebody went to the extent to restore is it is amazing,” says Watson. “The décor and finishes are beautifully done.”