President's Message Winter 2013-2014
What a great year 2013 has been for HRPS and for historic preservation in Reno! As we gear up for the State of Nevada's sesquicentennial celebrations in 2014, I have been reflecting on all that has been accomplished this year across Reno.
- Wells Avenue
- In March, the Wells Avenue Neighborhood officially became Reno's second Historic Conservation District. Even prior to the formal declaration, the increase in neighborhood pride and pride of ownership shows as you drive or walk through the district. At the southern edge of the district, Cafe DeLuxe opened, completing the adaptive reuse of the historic DeLuxe Laundry building.
- On November 6, the Reno City Council voted to approve changes in the municipal code, establishing new commercial and residential zoning for Midtown. Beginning in the fall of 2012, the planning process involved Midtown residents and business owners working with city staff and the Reno Planning Commission to select a plan that will advance the eclectic neighborhood by making it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly while preserving older residential neighborhoods.
- Lincoln Highway
- The 84-year-old Morris Hotel on East 4th Street was purchased in July, and is being transformed into the first "Burner" hotel in the world. The new owner plans to refurbish the period neon signs to their former beauty and will retain the punched tin ceiling. Hailing from around the world, residents of Burning Man's Black Rock City will help remodel the historic hotel's 43 rooms. Also on East 4th Street, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on November 6 that the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot (NCO Building) will be repurposed as a brewery and distillery. This beautiful building designed by Reno's famous Frederic DeLongchamps has been on the watch-list of the HRPS Advisory Advocacy Council (AAC) for some time.
- Powning Addition and Newlands Manor
- HRPS helped to recognize these landmark Reno neighborhoods in 2013, with the dedication of the Powning Pillar in June as a monument to celebrate Reno's first Historic Conservation District, the Powning Addition, and the restoration of the eight pillars at the entrance to the Newlands Manor neighborhood on Nixon Avenue.
- HRPS News
- September brought us the fourth annual Harvest of Homes Tour – a fantastic success with around 900 people touring five historic homes, each from a different decade. This event is fast becoming a local favorite, and helps to raise awareness of and support for historic preservation in Reno. At the end of October, HRPS purchased a bathtub that had been used by Harold's Club in a Reno parade in 1946. Presently the tub is being stored by the Nevada Historical Society as we wait for a proper venue for its display. Additionally, several events brought HRPS recognition by former Councilman Dan Gustin and Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus, who made a point to recognize a representatvie from HRPS, saying that HRPS was a great example of a grassroots organization and praising the role HRPS plays in improving the City of Reno.
The year 2013 has set quite a bar for the future, especially as we begin marking Nevada's 150th birthday next year. There are rumors of several ideas for a museum of Reno's history (perhaps a home for our new bathtub?), and undoubtedly 2014 will bring more opportunities for HRPS to be involved in the preservation and adaptive reuse of Reno's history. (Reno's own sesquicentennial will occur in 2018.)
Finally, I would like to welcome our newest Lifetime Member, Jonnie Pullman. She joins seventeen other individuals and couples who have made this commitment to the mission of HRPS. Income from Lifetime Membership is used to support our Neighborhood Preservation Fund –please consider adding your name to this important list in the New Year.
Byllie D'Amato Andrews