30 years of caring

Chico Heritage Association protects old Chico

Thirty years ago this month, a group of volunteers concerned about a plan to raze a historic downtown building to make room for a bank drive-through formed a new group, the Chico Heritage Association. Its mission was “to encourage and support the preservation, maintenance, enhancement, restoration and protection of buildings, neighborhoods, monuments, artifacts and natural resources that exemplify or constitute a part of the historic, architectural and cultural heritage of the greater Chico area.”

It’s a big job for a group of volunteers, but CHA has been remarkably successful. The association’s first project, a survey of all the historical resources in a major section of downtown Chico, has served as a template for the recent creation of the city of Chico’s historic-preservation ordinance. Along the way CHA has been a strong voice for preservation whenever a historic building has been threatened.

May is National Preservation Month, and this year—to mark its 30th anniversary—the CHA is celebrating with several activities designed to enhance our appreciation of the treasures inherited from the past.

They begin this weekend, on Saturday, May 7, with a walking tour of old Chico led by John Gallardo, a mainstay in the CHA since its inception. The tour will be repeated on Sunday, May 22; both tours begin at 1 p.m. in front of Bidwell Presbyterian Church.

The group is also hosting a workshop, “Best Façade Forward,” on Tuesday, May 10, beginning at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 850 Palmetto Ave., followed by its annual Preservation Awards acknowledging exemplary efforts to preserve Chico’s heritage.

We congratulate the CHA on its 30th anniversary and thank its members for their outstanding contribution to the community.