Historic Preservation Home
Contact Us
Development and Resource Management Administration
2600 Fresno St
Room 3065
Fresno, CA 93721
E-Mail Us
Department Home

Welcome to the City of Fresno’s Historic Preservation Website.

All Historic Preservation Commission agendas and staff reports are now located on the City Clerk’s page: https://fresno.legistar.com/

This website will serve as your one-stop shop for informationH.H. Brix Mansion about the City’s Historic Preservation Program. The site provides up-to-date information, including agendas to upcoming meetings, reports, ways to participate, and contact information.

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 of Fresno’s Historic Preservation Database includes all properties that have been evaluated in a survey or in some prior planning document. The document is added to as new or revised information is received. The attached database was uploaded on February 17, 2016. Please see the User’s Guide for additional information.

Database Guide (pdf)
Revised City of Fresno Historic Preservation Data (pdf)

For additional information about Fresno's Historic Preservation Program contact:
Karana Hattersley-Drayton
Historic Preservation Project Manager
City of Fresno (559) 621-8520

Other Responsibilities

Environmental Review and Assessment
Benefits of Designation as a Historic Resourc-Frequently Askded Questions
The Legacy of the New Deal
Historic Preservation is (Very) Green
Public Art Committee

Environmental Review and Assessment
Both the City’s Historic Preservation Project Manager and the Historic Preservation Commission are required to review and comment on a variety of environmental documents and project entitlements. This review is guided by a series of intersecting laws, ordinances and agreements, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), The City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, the Historic and Cultural Resources Element of the Fresno General Plan, and various other specific agreements.

Historic Resources (Fresno General Plan 2014)

[Return to top]

Benefits of Designation as a Historic Resource
What are the benefits of listing a property on the Local Register of Historic Resources? Besides designation being an honor, a building owner may use the more flexible California Historical Building Code when making repairs or alterations. In addition, a historic property can qualify for exemptions under the City’s zoning ordinance (i.e., property development standards). Commercial property owners may apply for a 10 percent or 20 percent federal tax credit for income producing properties that were put into service prior to 1936. A designated historic property is protected under both the local ordinance as well as the California Environmental Quality Act. In addition, historic designation normally raises the property’s value, helps to stabilize a neighborhood and is an important aspect of heritage and cultural tourism. For additional information please call 559.621-8520. What follows are a few frequently asked questions about the City’s Historic Preservation program.

Is my building or site on the Local Register of Historic Resources? The list of Local and National Register properties for Fresno can be found in "A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno, California" (www.historicfresno.org). One can also access this website through a link on the City's historic preservation page.

How do I list my building on the Register? For buildings, structures, objects or sites to be considered for listing on the Local Register, they must (usually) be at least 50 years of age and have historic significance. The City's Historic Preservation Ordinance also includes the criteria for listing.
True, or not: I have been told that if my property is "historic," that I can't paint it without someone looking over my shoulder! Not exactly true. Only activities that require a permit are reviewed by the Historic Preservation staff and, on occasion, by the Historic Preservation Commission. Application of exterior and interior paint does not require a permit, nor does general maintenance, trimming of vegetation etc.

Are there funds to restore historic buildings? There is currently no specific source of funds for historic preservation in Fresno. However, a property owner may qualify for the Senior Paint or minor rehab program or, for “commercial” properties, claim the 10% federal tax credit.

I am thinking about changing out my windows in order to save energy. The California Energy Commission has shown that windows are NOT a major culprit in energy loss, or gain. Rather look to your roof insulation, leaks around duct work etc. In addition, it will take up to 20 years to recap the expense of the new windows through savings on your energy bill. Changing out windows can also be detrimental to a home's historic look and thus its resale value.

[Return to top]

The Legacy of the New Deal (walking tour guide)
In the wake of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt instituted a series of programs aimed at economic recovery. Some of these programs resulted in new buildings in Fresno.
Walking Tour Guide

[Return to top]

Historic Preservation is (Very) Green
The Development and Resource Management Department’s Fresno Green Building Program is among the first in the United States to include specific credits for historic preservation. In addition to points for energy and water efficiency and recycled building content, a developer can earn a credit for providing a wayside exhibit for a canal, for the inclusion of a historic landscape feature, for conducting a historic survey or for the retention and/or adaptive reuse of an existing building. To quote one Seattle developer, “the most basic act of sustainability is to recycle a good old building that’s already in place.” The Historic Preservation Project Manager chairs the Planning Department’s Fresno Green Team and was a principle author of the City-wide Green Strategy.
[Return to top]

Public Art Committee
The City’s Historic Preservation Project Manager also chairs the Department’s Public Art Committee. A developer can receive a 20 percent minor deviation in property development standards for including public art. Art, history, preservation of older buildings---all of these contribute to the City Beautiful and to an enhanced community life!
[Return to top]