Beyond the river stretches the interminable prairie, where the fields of harvested wheat lie wrapped in slumber; . . . . The light stealing upon the broad shadows, first touches the tops of the prairie wagons. . . . Then, making more and more progress, it shines. . . and at last, in full glory of splendor, brings out the yellow of the cultivated fields and the course brown of the sandy soil.

~ Picturesque America, 1872

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Old Administration Building, Fresno City College

A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno

This site includes lists of National Register, Local Register and Heritage properties in Fresno.  As of June 1, 2010 there are 267 individual listings on the Register including the Fresno Buddhist Temple (#024), the Fresno Memorial Auditorium (#052) and the Rowell Building (#170). Twenty-eight buildings on the Local Register are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These “crown jewels” of the community include local landmarks such as the Old Fresno Water Tower (HP#001), the Thomas R. Meux Home (HP#002) and the Tower Theatre (HP#190).  Eleven properties are also listed as Heritage Properties.  In addition to individual listings Fresno has three designated historic districts:  the Porter Tract (near Fresno City College), the Wilson Island (near the Tower District), and the Chandler Airfield/Fresno Municipal Airport. At least twelve other districts have been recommended through surveys or community specific plans.

The site also includes information about historic districts, historic building surveys, as well as architects, designers and builders.


City of Fresno Historic Preservation Program

The City of Fresno’s Historic Preservation Ordinance was approved by the City Council in 1979 and revised in 1999.  The City was also the first in California designated as a Preserve America Community by (former) First Lady Laura Bush.  

The intent of the Ordinance is “to preserve, promote and improve the historic resources and districts of the City of Fresno for educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public….” The Ordinance also recognizes that historic preservation helps “to establish, stabilize and improve property values and to foster economic development.” (Section 12-1600, Historic Preservation Ordinance).

The City’s Historic Preservation Commission is comprised of seven individuals appointed by the Mayor, who have training and expertise in preservation, architecture, architectural history, engineering and related fields.

The Commission normally meets the 4th Monday of the month at Fresno City Hall (2600 Fresno St., on Fresno & P Streets in downtown Fresno), Conference Room A at 5:30 pm.  The Commission reviews all nominations to the Local Register of Historic Resources and comments on projects and plans that may affect the City’s historic and cultural heritage. 

Commission hearings are open to the public and participation is highly encouraged.


California Preservation Foundation

Founded in 1977, the California Preservation Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of California's diverse cultural and architectural heritage.

With over 1,500 members, CPF is the state's leading voice for historic preservation, as well as its most valuable source for preservation-related assistance. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees and partners with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Californians for Preservation Action.


National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities. Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell America's story.

Historic Preservation

Last Updated Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 05:17 PM.