Historic Structures

Building Description Mathias Rinckel Mansion, Carson City Nevada

Overall dimensions of main portion are approximately 40' x 40'. It is two stories and square with minor projections. The rear wing is 21' (2 bays) long and is one story.

There is a cellar under the rear (kitchen) wing only. This is entered via a stairway opening off the kitchen, and was used for food storage. It has a dirt floor.

The first floor double front doors open directly into the stairhall. To the left is the front parlor, and to the right, the master bedroom. All three of these spaces extend approximately half way through the depth of the main block. Behind the front parlor, and separated from it by screen vails and double sliding doors, is the rear parlor, vhich extends to half the width of the stairhall, through which it may also be entered. On the back wall of this parlor is a door leading to the rear porch. The dining room is to the right of the rear parlor, and behind the master bedroom, through both of which rooms it may be entered. At the rear of the dining room is a door leading into the rear, kitchen wing. The door leads directly to a small rear hallway. To the left is the pantry, to the right a bathroom (in a later addition) entered through a former exterior door, and behind the hall, the kitchen itself. There are two exterior doors in the kitchen, one to the rear porch and one behind the ' aforementioned bathroom.

The second floor layout is a somewhat modified version of the first, having four large bedrooms at each corner of the house, over the four principle rooms below. Near the head of the stairs, a portion of the bedroom over the rear parlor is given over to a former "trunk room" now a bathroom.

Room Descriptions - First Floor:

Stair Hall: The double, elaborately paneled and glazed entrance doors, with their surrounding trim, occupy the full width of the stairhall's eastern end. Immediately to the right is a door to the master bedroom, beyond which the stair begins its ascent. The stair takes up half of the width of the hall. To the left, several feet down the hall, is the door to the front parlor. At the rear on axis with the portion of the hall not taken up with the stair, is the door to the rear parlor. The walls are painted pink. All doors and trim in the stairhall are of pine stained and grained to resemble walnut. The stairway itself is of walnut. The stair consists of nineteen risers 7 1/2" high, and ascends in a straight run against the right wall for thirteen risers. At this point, the stair curves to the left and reaches the second floor at a 90° angle to the main run. The soffit of the stair is open from the fourth riser. The red velvet stair carpet and the gold plated holders are said to be original. The original gas chandelier is in place.

Front Parlor: The front parlor is entered through a door from the stair hall, and is connected to the rear parlor by double sliding doors. The front (east side) of the room is taken up with a large triple bay window. The south wall has two single windows, between which is an ornate Eastlake type pier mirror said to have come from the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. All the windows have gold valances. All trim in this room is painted white, as are the walls. The floor is covered with the original carpet. The most elaborate features of the parlor are the ceiling and cornice. Just below the cornice is a thin gold leaf picture mold. The cornice members are picked out in shades of pink and pale green. The ceiling itself is painted pale yellow. In the center of the ceiling is a medallion from which hangs the original chandelier. Four ribs radiate from the center to meet ribs parallel to the cornice forming a decorative panel in the ceiling. The ribs and medallion are painted pink.

Rear Parlor: The east wall of this room is taken up with doors - the double sliding doors leading to the front parlor, and a single door leading to the rear of the stairhall. On the north wall, close to the door to the stairhall, is a door leading to the dining room. On the rear wall is a door to the back porch. This door has been closed for some time, and is fitted with bookshelves below the transom. The south wall is, like the east wall of the front parlor, given over to a triple bay window. Trim in this room is white, the walls pink, the floor is carpeted. As in the front parlor, the most elaborate feature here is the ornamental plaster ceiling, similar in design and color to that in the front parlor. The chandelier in this room is a three part composition - the center part of which maybe lowered independently of the others, to serve as a reading light. There is an ornamental wood stove in this room, which served to heat both the front as well as the rear parlor.

Dining Room: The primary entrance to the dining room is the door from the rear parlor, which is in the south wall, near the SE corner of the dining room. There is also a door in the east wall, near the south east corner of the room leading through a short passage to the master bedroom. The north wall of the dining room has two windows, between vhich is a marble mantel shelf hung on brackets. There is a wood stove in front of the shelf. There was never a fireplace; the shelf was placed there to hold a clock. On the west wall is a door to the rear hall and kitchen beyond. All the trim, and the doors, in this room are grained to resemble golden oak. The walls are painted a deep ox-blood red. A thin gold leaf picture mold at the intersection of wall and ceiling, serves in lieu of a cornice in this room.

Kitchen Wing: The kitchen wing is entered through the door in the west wall in the dining room. This door leads directly into a small hall, with doors in each wall. That to the left, or south, goes into a pantry. To the north of the hallway is a door leading to the bathroom. This door was at one time an exterior door, and the bathroom floor is one step lower than the rest of the first floor. The east wall of this room has an exterior door and a window. This addition is said to have served as the quarters for a Chinese servant prior to having been made into a bathroom. It is said that this bathroom was installed in the 1880's but the present fixtures, while old, are not of that vintage.

The rear door of the hallway leads to the kitchen itself. The north wall of the kitchen has an outside door at the northwest corner of the room. The rear or west wall has no openings. The south wall has a window and a door, both opening to the rear porch. The stairway to the basement is entered through a door near the door to the rear porch. The kitchen has a wainscot of matched beaded boards, approximately 4 feet high. This too, was originally grained to resemble golden oak. It has since been painted an off-white. The center of attention in the kitchen is the cast iron cook stove, labelled "Delmonico" and made by Rathbone Sard and Company of Albany, New York. It is elaborately decorated with garlands, cupids, etc. The "Delmonico" was the gold medal winner in the American Range Display at the Philadelphia Exposition, and it is there that the Rinckels are said to have seen it.

Master Bedroom: The master bedroom occupies the right front corner of the first floor. It may be entered through a door from the front hall, or from the dining room. The east or front wall of the room is given over to a three part bay window. The north wall has a single window near the north west corner. The west wall has two doors, that on the right leading to a closet and that on the left leading through a passage, in which there are shelves for linens and closet space, to the dining room.

Trim in this room is also grained golden oak, and a thin gold leaf picture mold serves as a cornice. The walls are painted a bright green.

Room descriptions - Second Floor:

Stairhall: This space corresponds to the stairhall below and has the same trim grained to resemble walnut. All four bedrooms, as well as the former Trunk Room, now a bathroom, open from it. The stairway reaches the hall near its rear wall and because of the curve, lands at the second floor level facing west. The stairhall is lit by a double window in the east wall, one portion of which is hinged at the side to act as a door leading to the deck over the front porch. The walls here, as in the stairhall on the first floor, are painted pink.

Guest Bedroom: (left rear bedroom). This bedroom is over the rear parlor, though not as large as that room. It is entered through a typical transomed door in its east wall from the hall. Its south wall is occupied by another of the three windowed bays. Trim in this room is stained to resemble golden oak. A portion of the floor of this room which had been taken up at the for the installation of electric wiring, revealed the floor joists to be of 2" x 10" pine laid 10" on center. The walls are painted light green, and a maroon stenciled pattern near the ceiling takes the place of a cornice. A door in the southeast corner of this room leads through a closet passage to the left front bedroom.

Left Front Bedroom: This room is entered by way of a door in its east wall from the hall, or at its south west corner through a door leading to the guest room. There are two windows on the south wall, and a three part bay window on the east wall. All the window heads are several feet below the ceiling level, but curtain rods and draperies are hung several feet above to give an impression of added height. In place of a cornice in this room is a picture mold. Again the trim is of pine stained to resemble golden oak, while the walls are pale pink. A closet opens off the west wall of this room.

Right front bedroom: This room is entered through the hall and is over the master bedroom. The east or front wall, has the last of the three windowed bays, and there is a window near the rear of the room on the north side. Next to this is another marble mantel shelf, though this room was heated by a stove. There is a hand stencilled yellow cornice pattern in this room. The floor is covered with a Brusels carpet. The closet to the rear of this room has an early linoleum floor, and formerly had porcelain hooks for clothes. The walls are painted a pale ivory. A second door in the west wall gives access to the right rear bedroom.

Right rear bedroom: This room, entered through the hall or the right front bedroom, was originally the nursery. Alone in the house, its pine trim is grained to resemble curly maple. The original circulating drum stove, designed to catch the heat from the dining room stove below, bears the mark "S.M. Ransom and Company, Albany, New York, Patented 1858".

Trunk Room: At the rear of the stairhall, and entered only from it, is the Trunk Room, now a bathroom. The attic is entered through a small opening in the ceiling of this room. This bathroom is said to have been installed in the 1930's.