Renovation of decaying Jack’s Bar underway in Carson
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The renovation of Jack’s Bar is underway.
The historic and decaying building at the corner of Carson and 5th streets downtown was purchased in June by the Nevada Builders Alliance (NBA), which plans to restore the saloon to as close to its original design as possible.
For the last couple of weeks, work has been done with a limited scope building permit to assess the condition of the structure, said Aaron West, CEO, NBA.
First, about 40 pigeons inside the building were trapped and released, and a chain link fence draped over the collapsed roof to keep more birds out.
McGinley & Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm in Reno, then conducted a survey of the inside.
“We wanted to make sure we knew what we were dealing with,” said West. “And, unfortunately, at some point in the ’50s or ’60s, they put in vinyl flooring in the main bar and two other rooms and it has asbestos.”
So now NBA is working to hire an asbestos abatement contractor to come in and remove the dangerous material, after which NBA hopes to start demolishing the entire interior starting in November. Only the exterior rock walls will remain, said West.
Design has yet to start because the architect and engineer can’t enter the building until the environmental work is completed.
“We’re just trying to make it accessible,” said West.
The project is a community effort, he said. McGinley & Associates’ donated its services as has Ocese Waste Services, which provided a huge Dumpster, and United Site Services, which supplies portable toilets for workers.
West is also hoping the community can help with research on the building and business’ history.
He said the previous owners — Cubix Ormsby LLC, a partnership of Don Lehr and Al Fiegehen, owners of the Ormsby House — held a public auction more than a dozen years ago and sold the building’s contents, including the wooden bar.
“We’re trying to get the message out to the community to anyone who remembers the auction or has pieces from it,” said West.
“We’re not asking them to give anything up, we’re just trying to get information.”
“Nevada leads the nation in population growth and Washoe County experienced a 1.6% growth rate last year — over 8,000 new residents now call this area home. And this trend is not expected to end anytime soon.