SMC has built thousands of beautiful retail stores in our 30 year history, but when we received plans to bid our first West Elm inside the historic U.S. Post Office in downtown Reno, Nevada, we knew it would be an extraordinary and unforgettable project. The building featured immaculately preserved 1930’s aesthetics and had functioned as a post office for the past 80 years, closing only a few years prior. SMC, led by Michael Sanders, as Project Manager, and Bill Lopez as superintendent, were eager for the challenge.
The building was filled with unique art deco design details, preserved for nearly a century. Careful planning and construction process was given to the historical embellishments: 11,000 square feet of original maple parquet floor, oak mail slots, postmaster’s mezzanine catwalk with viewports, steel and iron vault doors, beautiful cast aluminum trim with eagles and terracotta clay wall insets. This was both a jewel and a construction challenge.
Alongside West Elm and their design team, our construction partners preserved the historic integrity and originality of the Post Office while creating the distinct brand of the trendy mid-century store on the main floor. The project was hugely successful in the marriage of old and new. West Elm, at the historic Reno Post Office, opened their doors on November 8, 2016, and has exceeded the vision of developers, design teams, and our construction partners. SMC is honored to have shared in the restorative process with West Elm and the City of Reno.