This home was designed by Frederic DeLongchamps and built for Albert T. Donnels around 1917. Albert Donnels had been a Reno resident since 1896. He was born in Jamestown, California. As a young man in his early twenties he went to San Francisco; there in 1880 he entered into partnership with Theodore J. Steinmetz. Six years later, they relocated their furniture, carpets and drapery retail business to Reno. They operated their business at the northwest corner of Second and Sierra Streets until they leased the building to the J.C. Penney Company. Before moving to this neighborhood, Donnels and his family lived in a Queen Anne home at 815 N. Center Street, just south of the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
Albert Donnels’ favorite pastime was the sport of billiards, and he was one of the leading players in this city. He was also a member of the Reno Elks and the Knights of Pythias. Albert and Christine Donnels’ son, Albert Thomas Donnels, Junior, continued to live in the house after his parents’ deaths until 1965.
The Albert Donnels House has classical details applied to American Foursquare form, or Prairie Box style, consisting of 3,802 square feet plus a 1,668-square-foot basement. The simple box shape has four rooms on the first and second floors; the rooms on each floor do not have to be in the same location or style. Interesting architectural features include the full wide porch; hipped, shingled roof; porticos supported by Tuscan columns and topped with balustrade and dentils; rubble base foundation; and some 8/1 and 10/1 double-hung windows. The home was restored in the late 1970s by its second owner.