Preserving Plano's history
The formation of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. in 2001 resulted from efforts of former Heritage Commission members and like-minded citizens who recognized the need for a non profit to be established that would serve as a vehicle for advocacy for preservation concerns in the community. Under the guidelines of a not for profit corporation, members would be empowered to seek funds for worth projects, to promote awareness of preservation education and to protect and preserve the heritage resources for future generations.
This vision was embraced by City Council. Through their efforts a year long contractual agreement was structured allowing for The Conservancy to operate the Interurban Museum in exchange for office space. In the course of the first year’s business The Conservancy established sufficient credibility to become eligible for funding under the hotel/motel tax provisions. During the initial startup, many civic partnerships were established including Plano Independent School District, City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and various corporate and local businesses.
While daily seeking new ideas and avenues to pursue that enhance the Interurban Railway Museum, The Conservancy has been very successful in offering education programs to all ages, sponsoring an annual city wide archaeology dig; National Preservation Week activities; identifying the significance of the Thornton House in the Douglass Community and supporting efforts to preserve this African American symbol; and undertaking an ongoing oral history program, as well as providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors interested in the preservation field.