Work is well underway remaking 4075 Main Street in downtown Riverside into the new home for Riverside County Public Defender. The 8-story building was Riverside’s first modern, mid-rise commercial office building when it opened in 1965.
In April 1962, Greschner Investment Corp. of Santa Ana and Los Angeles-based Citizens National Bank* proposed the office building and adjacent parking garage. The bank would relocate one block south from a smaller building located on the northwest corner of Tenth and Main into the new office building to be built on the northwest corner of Eleventh and Main.
According to an April 1963 newspaper report, a luncheon was held at the Mission Inn to announce the $1.5 million project. Greschner was quoted saying that if demand was there, the building could go past its proposed 8 stories, possibly reaching 10 or 12. However, it appears the demand was not sufficient for a taller structure and the building remained at the proposed 8 stories. The report listed High Wynne (should be Hugh H. Wynne) as the architect and Edward Lindskog as the structural engineer.
By the time construction started in December 1963, costs for the 75,000 sq. ft. building had increased to $2.2 million. Also, a bank merger had occurred, making Crocker-Citizens the new name. The Crocker name would remain atop the building until the late 1970s, when city permits show the large roof-top sign was removed. However, the Crocker name would disappear entirely following the bank’s merger with Wells Fargo Bank in 1986.
In 1989, the building underwent a major makeover under the ownership of Riverside’s Magnon Companies. The building’s exterior received an entirely new and sleeker facing.
In 1996, Wells Fargo absorbed First Interstate Bank. The merger resulted in the relocation of WF’s downtown Riverside branch into FIB’s spot within the Mission Square building at 3750 University Avenue (where it remains today).
Currently, the former Crocker-Citizens building at 4075 Main Street is being completely gutted from top to bottom under the guidance of Holt Architecture of Rancho Mirage, California. According to Holt, the renovation “will feature a complete new glazing system comprised of dual-pane insulated glass and the building’s performance will be optimized through a variety of highly-efficient design features.”
Interestingly, based upon the architect’s rendering, the current makeover of the exterior essentially returns the building’s previous design.
- Holt Architecture
- RaincrossSquare.com – Gallery: Downtown Buildings | Postcard: Main at Ninth streets (Oct. 2009) | Tracing the Riverside roots of Security Pacific National Bank (Oct. 2009)
*Note: Los Angeles-based Citizens National Bank is not to be confused with the former Riverside-based Citizens National Trust & Savings Bank, the latter of which eventually became part of Security Pacific National Bank (now part of Bank of America).
Sources: City of Riverside planning archives, Holt Architects, Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise (PE-19620403, PE-19631219), Los Angeles Times (LAT-19860527)