If you've ever attended one of HRPS' walking tours and gone home reluctantly, wishing to know more about the city and those who were a part of its colorful past and prodigious growth, then you will understand how the Historic Reno Preservation Society came to be.
To celebrate Historic Preservation Week of May 1997, Pat Ferraro Klos led more than 50 participants on a walking tour of the Humboldt and Lander Street neighborhoods. Twenty-five of these walkers, appetites whetted by this brief taste of history, gathered afterwards at My Favorite Muffin to discuss creating an organization dedicated to preserving Reno's past.
The result of this meeting of minds was the creation of the Historic Reno Preservation Society. The first slate of officers were: President Pat Klos, Vice President Cindy Ainsworth, Secretary Sandy Saunders, and Treasurer Holly Young. HRPS filed its Articles of Incorporation in February 1998. Bylaws were approved in September 1998 and in December 1999 it was granted tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3 organization.
The first formal HRPS meeting was held that September at the Mt. Rose School, beginning a tradition that has lasted to the present. A hundred or so meetings later, this tradition has endured with hardly a duplicated program. There always seems to be some new topic to be explored and a volunteer presenter willing share his or her research. Attendance numbers have soared over the past few years and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the programs are offered virtually in cooperation with the Washoe County Library System.
The Bricks and Stones walking tour mentioned above has also endured and is now just one of an entire host of over 20 tours throughout diverse parts of the city. New tours are continually being added to appeal to all interests. The annual Harvest of Homes tour takes place in September, where participants can appreciate history and architecture from the inside of historic properties.
HRPS' publication FootPrints offers informative historic and preservation-related articles on a variety of topics and along with our walking tours, is a valuable membership benefit. The dedicated FootPrints staff and writers have striven to bring the best historical writing about the Truckee Meadows to our community.
HRPS works to encourage the preservation efforts of home and small business owners through its Reno Heritage Fund, offering matching funds to those wishing to improve the appearance of their properties.
We at HRPS love our history and are always looking for new ways to celebrate and share it—please join us!