The Mission Inn Foundation was incorporated in 1976 to assist in the preservation and restoration of the Mission Inn. The Mission Inn Museum, operated by the Mission Inn Foundation, was opened in 1993, simultaneous with the reopening of the Mission Inn after seven years of extensive renovations. In addition to the museum, the Mission Inn Foundation interprets the history and significance of the Mission Inn through daily hotel tours, monthly public programs and special events including the Mission Inn Run, the Hands On History educational initiative, and the continued stewardship of the hotel's expansive art, artifact, and archival collections.
The Mission Inn youth education outreach initiative (Hands on History program) engages students throughout Riverside county in the history of the city with interactive, activity-based, and peer to peer learning opportunities to foster a growing appreciation of their community. Examples of programming include Youth Ambassadors, a junior docent program for high-school students, Our Riverside!, a community history program for middle school students, and classroom lesson plans for educators.
The Mission Inn Foundation offers open-to-the-public programming, including expert lectures and presentations on local and regional history, photography and art tours led by trained docents, excursions to historical venues, and exhibitions that feature and interpret the Mission Inn’s contributions to local, regional, state, and even international history.
The Mission Inn Foundation’s public programming and collections are important because the Mission Inn has been a social center and civic hub since its first incarnation as an adobe and clapboard boarding house built in 1876. In 1903, that family-run boarding house transformed into a unique destination hotel that utilizes Mission Revival and Spanish Revival architecture and continues to house works of art and other historical treasures from Europe, Asia, and North America. Today, the Mission Inn is a symbol of Riverside and the Inland Empire and serves as a reminder of its contributions to the region and state. Through the vision and life’s work of the Miller family, the Mission Inn Foundation helps preserve and share the history and enduring legacy of an entire community.