Letter still missing

The Washoe County Library’s downtown branch is marking its 50th anniversary. Designed by architect Hewitt Wells and completed in 1966, Wells was reportedly frustrated that he could not design a park around the library, so he put the park inside.

We thought this would be a good time to check if any progress has been made on finding the library’s letter from Lady Bird Johnson. Shortly after the library opened, Johnson—then first lady—sent a letter praising the beauty of the building. The letter was framed and hung on the wall and at some point went missing (“Lost letter,” RN&R, July 27, 2007). No photocopy had been made, so the text of the letter is likewise gone. Library spokesperson Jennifer Oliver said last week the letter has not been located.

In an attempt to at least find the text, we contacted the LBJ Library at the University of Texas in Austin. Archivist Barbara Cline replied, “I have looked in the White House Social Files, the unit that maintained the correspondence for Lady Bird Johnson and her daughters. I found no letter from 1966 addressed to the Washoe County Library or a Reno Library.”

If anyone knows the whereabouts of the letter, they can contact library director Jeff Scott.