one hundred and fourteen years ago...
The Belvada was built as the The Nevada State Bank & Trust building in 1906. The building was erected in Classical Revival style and the Chicago style influence can be seen in the large windows on the first floor. Four months after the building was completed, a nationwide financial panic struck the USA and the State Bank & Trust building closed. Its owner, Thomas Rickey, was arrested and indicted for embezzlement and the bank closed it's doors. The Nevada First National Bank of Tonopah moved into the building in 1908.
In 1908, the elegant Nevada Club Saloon opened in the building. Quite a posh clubroom, the bar was listed as one of the 10 best bars in the USA in 1910. In 1908, “ One of the most luxurious tonsorial establishments between Denver and San Francisco” opened in the basement of the building. It had six chairs of “the most modern type” and “barbers that are artists”. The barbershop included baths, showers, and steam, a facility for women’s haircutting and manicures, and a shoeshine set up which featured an automatic shoe polisher. Other tenants of the building included Miners Drug Store, A Cigar Shop, Sweldon Clothing Shop, and a variety of professional offices. It served Tonopah as the primary hub for business in Tonopah until the Great Depression in the early 1930’s paralyzed most all the businesses. It sat idle and vacant until it was purchased for conversion to apartments, and thus The Belvada Apartments were born.
The Belvada Building represents the extreme boom and bust phenomenon of the west, where huge success and tremendous optimism turns on a dime, and leaves in its wake the embodiment of human innovation, hope, and inspiration, in an empty cavernous tomb…screaming to be appreciated for its amazing design and grandeur, and waits for the appropriate attention and appreciation
Fred & Nancy Cline purchased and renovated the historic Mizpah Hotel in 2011. It was this project that ignited a revival in this historic mining town.
The Nevada State Bank building was dilapidated and literally falling down. The Town of Tonopah needed to bring the building to code or tear it down. When realizing the cost and undertaking of this project, they reached out to Fred & Nancy Cline. For $1, the historic Nevada State Bank Building was purchased and the Cline's once again helped to preserve a large part of Tonopah history.
Started in 2017, the project was no easy undertaking. A complete renovation - every part of the building was in some way brought back to life. After three years, the project was finally completed in 2020.
For a downloadable history of the Nevada State Bank Building & Tonopah from Fred & Nancy Cline, click here.