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This time the orphanage was built out of sandstone blocks quarried from the State Prison, the same blocks that make up the Capitol and several other buildings in town.The cost for the new Children’s Home was $38,000, and it was finished and opened in 1903.
This is the one part of Sunny Acres that was not demolished, for whatever reason.How this one building managed to survive fire, politics, and the bad taste of the 60s, I’ll never know.But it’s one reminder that this little part of Carson City has always been dedicated to the children.That’s why in 1963 the Children’s Home was torn down, and this great piece of Carson City architecture lost.Today the original cottonwood trees still outline the spot where it used to stand, but there’s nothing else left.Boys and Girls Club Gymnasium Actually, that’s not entirely true.
The site is presently filled with a scattered mess of buildings, some of them dating back to the 1960s, and some of more recent vintage.
In this picture below of the orphan’s home, looking east from Stewart Street sometime probably in the 1890s, you can see the old wooden orphanage building on the left, and some other farm-type buildings to the right.
But on the far right, at the edge of the picture, is something that looks familiar.
The Division of Child and Family Services is still headquartered here in the cottages, and the Boy and Girls Club of Western Nevada has made their home here in some of the newer buildings.
But if you work your way past the cottages, past the Boys and Girls Club, you’ll find this squat building simply marked “Gymnasium”.
The two-story cupola and flagpole were removed, and most of the fireplaces were taken out, probably because the building was remodeled with central heating. By the mid 20th century, the idea of orphanages was out and the concepts of adoption and foster homes were in.