Renovated Riverside Convention Center reopens

Renovated Riverside Convention Center reopens

After several years of planning and 1.5 years of reconstruction, the doors swung open March 1 on the extensively renovated Riverside Convention Center in downtown. Located at the northern end of the Main Street pedestrian mall at Fifth Street, the convention center began life in 1976 as Ben H. Lewis Hall at Raincross Square. It has undergone a few modest…

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Riverside Municipal Auditorium reopens following renovation

Riverside Municipal Auditorium reopens following renovation

After nearly two years of renovation and seismic upgrades, downtown Riverside’s historic Municipal Auditorium was rededicated by city officials during an open house held earlier this month. Included in the $10 million makeover of the 1928-29 structure is better seating, lighting, acoustics and fully-renovated lower level and backstage areas. A large open area in front of the stage allows for…

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Initial conceptual plans for exterior of downtown library

Initial conceptual plans for exterior of downtown library

On the heels of March’s initial “information gathering” meetings with the public and library/civic stakeholders, Riverside began conducting followup public meetings late last week on the proposed renovation of the downtown Main Library. As such, the city has released four early conceptual drawings of the proposed exterior makeover, which the city is currently asking for public comment on. Two public…

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Donated items salvaged from Fox Theater for sale

Donated items salvaged from Fox Theater for sale

Want to own a piece of Riverside history? Here’s your chance! In cooperation with Habitat for Humanity Riverside, the Old Riverside Foundation is selling recently donated items salvaged from the historic Riverside Fox Theater. The items — doors, windows and power switches — were saved during the theater’s 3-year, $32 million renovation that was completed in 2010. We think the…

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Sharing a bit of library love

Sharing a bit of library love

Definitely one of Riverside’s best mid-century buildings — and certainly its most under-appreciated — the downtown Main Library (a.k.a. Central Library) has spent most of its time suffering from harsh criticism. In the past few years, however, there has been growing support for the library’s mid-century designs. Most of this support has tended to come from those that know only…

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Latest plans for downtown library: renovation, not demolition

Latest plans for downtown library: renovation, not demolition

After several recent attempts, Riverside officials have now scrapped expensive plans to construct a new downtown library in favor of a more modest renovation of the existing building. We realize this new directive from the city council may not serve all interests and parties involved, and we do agree a modest renovation/refurbishment is warranted. However, we also admit we’re glad…

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Out & About – Historic walking tours of downtown Riverside

Out & About – Historic walking tours of downtown Riverside

From the eclectic Mission Inn and magnificent County Courthouse to the modern City Hall and mid-century public library, downtown Riverside is rich in architectural history and variety. Fortunately, many of these gems are within walking distance down a few adjoining streets. As such, we’ve created a few short circular, self-guided tours — Mission Inn Avenue, University Avenue and Main Street….

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Relocated Marcy Branch Library opens

Relocated Marcy Branch Library opens

After about three years of planning, renovation and moving, Riverside’s Marcy Branch Library has reopened. The new location, near the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington avenues, is about 1 mile from its former spot on Central Avenue near the Riverside Plaza. The relocated Marcy Branch occupies the bottom floor of an 18,000 sq. ft., two-story building on Magnolia Avenue (with…

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Postcard: Downtown civic buildings

Late 1950sTop: Carnegie Library and Riverside County CourthouseBottom: Municipal Auditorium and U.S. Post Office We thought we’d start the new year off with an old postcard showing a few of downtown Riverside’s civic buildings. Dating from the late 1950s / early 1960s, the images show the 1903 Carnegie Library, the 1903 Riverside County Courthouse, the 1927 Municipal Auditorium, and the…

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