Biggest Little City

Historic Resources

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Chism House

Historic Preservation Awards

The City of Reno’s Historical Resources Commission announced the recipients of the 2017 Historic Preservation Awards at a ceremony on May 9, 2017 at Reno's historic Lake Mansion.  Eight awards in six categories were presented by Reno City Councilmember David Bobzien. The awards were presented in May as part of National Preservation Month.

The Residential Preservation Award was given to Bryan and Barrie Lynn for restoration of the historic front porch of their 1925 brick bungalow at 161 Wonder Street.

Two awards were presented for Non-Residential Preservation.  The first went to Harry and Carla Hart for restoration of the Nixon Mansion at 631 California Avenue.  The mansion was built for U.S. Senator George S. Nixon in 1907. 

The second Non-Residential Award was presented to 50 South Virginia LLC for the preservation and restoration of the former Reno Downtown Post Office at 50 South Virginia Street.  Designed by architect Frederic DeLongchamps, the post office opened in 1934 and now houses the West Elm home goods store along with a collection of smaller shops and eateries.

The Historic Landmark Award, given to an existing structure, landscape or object considered to be of citywide, state or regional significance, was awarded to Historic University Avenue.  Defined as the length of North Center Street extending from Eighth Street to Ninth Street, this landmark neighborhood just south of the University of Nevada, Reno campus contains a remarkably intact row of six 19th century Victorian houses on its west side as well as one historic century-old house on its east side.

The Historical Project Award was given to Jack Harpster for his book, The Genesis of Reno:  The History of the Riverside Hotel and the Virginia Street Bridge, published in 2016 by the University of Nevada Press. 

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to two honorees.  The first was Sharon Honig-Bear, a former president of the Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS), who has led walking tours, written articles and developed the HRPS annual Harvest of Homes tour.  The second Distinguished Service Award went to the Reno Rose Society, which was chartered in 1952 and whose members were instrumental in establishing the Reno Municipal Rose Garden as well as a heritage rose garden at the Lake Mansion.

The Advocate Award was presented to Barrie Lynn, who has led efforts to preserve historic structures and sites throughout Reno, including leading walking tours, testifying in public meetings, and designating the historic Wells Avenue Conservation District.

The Historical Resources Commission first introduced its Historic Preservation Awards in 1997. Previous recipients include The Lake Mansion, Brasserie St. James, the Reno Historical App, the Masonic Lodge/Reno Mercantile Building, the Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS), and the Depot.
The detailed descriptions of the six categories, and a complete list of past recipients are available. For more information, email Jeff Borchardt at

What are Historic Resources?

Historic Resources are like living objects require a thoughtful care and maintenance to enjoy long useful life. Each resource is a reflection of specific time in history. A collection of these specific resources can begin to define a period’s social, stylistic, cultural, and economic heritage. The historic buildings, sites, districts, and objects of a place, weave together to form a fabric that connects different generations. Through thoughtful preservation of these important resources, the past can be preserved as a vital and functioning part of present day life. (City of Reno Historic Structures Handbook) 

Why Preserve "Old Buildings"?

Our city's historic structures--homes, businesses, commercial buildings, and schools-- provide a direct link to the past through their associations with the important people, events, and architectural movements of the past. These "old buildings" reflect the character and values of the people who shaped our city and made it into the unique place that it is today. Historic structures add to the value and character of their surroundings. They are non-renewable resources----once they have been altered from their original state, including the surrounding visual landscape, they lose their historical value. In order to maintain the value of historic buildings and to preserve them for future generations, it is necessary to take deliberate measures to ensure their continued survival.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Historic Register (PDF)

Preservation Ordinances

Historic Preservation Ordinance

View Full Site