RENO, NV - Saturday, the Historic Reno Preservation Society is hosting its 4th annual Reno Harvest of Homes Tour. Every year, five unique homes are opened to the community and their histories are shared with the community.
“What's wonderful is there's the opportunity to actually go inside these homes, all these homes you've driven by and said, 'I've always wondered whats inside,' now you get the opportunity to do that,” event organizer Sharon Honig-Bear said.
The Society looks for a variety of neighborhoods and styles when choosing homes for the tour.
“As much as people like to get into the mansions on the bluff, we want to make sure we show historic homes are available,” Honig-Bear said. “You can be a good steward to any size home. Our smallest is 1,200 square feet and we have mansions that exceed 10,000 square feet.”
One of the homes on this year's tour belongs to John Hawley Olds La Gatta. It's a 1920's-era Spanish-style home on California Avenue with amazing views of the Truckee River and dozens of paintings on the walls.
“All of the artwork in the house with the exception of one original was done by my father,” La Gatta said. “He was a somewhat celebrated illustrator in the 20's and 30's who took up painting later.”
He's hosted numerous benefits and functions at the home over the last decade and a half.
“It was the first house built in the Newlands addition and it's right next to a vacant lot once owned by the Nixon mansion, which is 20,000 square feet,” La Gatta said. “This became the nice place to build a home in the 1920s.”
Last year, almost a thousand people participated in the self-guided tour. Proceeds go to the Society's neighborhood preservation fund.
“In the last three years, we've given grants to nineteen properties ranging from the First Methodist Church to do some demolition work, to small residential projects like fixing roofs and porches,” Honig-Bear said. “You name it, we're there to help our neighborhoods look better.”
You can see a map of this year's homes and purchase tickets online at www.historicreno.org. Tickets will also be available at all of the homes on the tour. It runs Saturday from 10-3.