Results tagged “projects” from Raincross Square

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@1963
Architectural rendering of the Main Library, downtown Riverside
(Moise, Harbach & Hewlett)


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1966
Pacific Telephone book cover

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1967
Riverside National Bank calendar

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@1970
Outdoor sitting area

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@1980
Maturing trees

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2008
Reflecting pools long gone

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2006
Architectural details

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 to see the focus back to renovation and reuse versus complete demolition. Why? First and foremost, it allows for potential preservation of the building (and most/all of its architectural features). Second, a renovation plan is much less costly (and more likely to get funded/completed).

Definitely one of Riverside's best mid-century buildings -- and certainly its most under-appreciated -- construction of the downtown Main Library (a.k.a. Central Library) was approved by voters following a $1.7 million bond measure in October 1961. After several months of controversy over the location and size of parking lots around the new building, ground was formally broken on June 25, 1963.

Though opened to the public in late 1964, the library itself was officially dedicated on March 21, 1965. Initially praised for its size and modern interior, the new library was also panned by some for its stark and mostly windowless exterior. Moreover, many were bitter over the replacement of the beloved 1903 Carnegie Library, which was demolished in late 1964 around the time the new library opened directly behind it. As such, the "modern" library has spent most of its short life suffering from harsh criticism. (Indeed, the loss of the Carnegie [one* | two*] was a travesty in its own right.)

However, as a prime example of the New Formalism architectural movement, which was popular for public, institutional and financial buildings during the 1960s, the downtown library includes several hallmarks of this mid-century style: rigid box-like appearance, floating pedestal, brick veneer, strong pilasters, large overhang, fanciful canopy and period lighting (one | two | three).

Particularly striking are the building's interwoven "dove" screens (one | two) -- a symbol not likely coincidental considering the advancing Cold War era in which the library was built. As such, we feel any major modification of the dove screens -- or worse, their removal -- in any renovation plan would be a shame and essentially strip the building of its full and meaningful context. (However, we could do without the blue LIBRARY lettering above the entrance, which is not original and looks very tacky.)

Finally, we also realize the downtown library's bold and futuristic architecture stands in stark contrast to its neighbors, the most notable being the nearby Mission Inn. The two buildings are from vastly different eras and indeed are distinctly different. However, we feel it's this very juxtaposition that actually makes both buildings more unique in their own right, bringing out both the best and worst features of each (as good organic architecture should).

All in all, we believe the 1965-era library is one of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture in the Inland region (and maybe even Southern California). And we believe it's worth enhancing and preserving. What do you think?

(Note: The city is currently conducting outreach meetings with interest groups and the general public. As part of the outreach, the city is providing residents and stakeholders the ability to comment via the Downtown Library Rehabilitation Survey. Read the questions and then submit your responses. We urge anyone interested to spend a few minutes to complete the three-question survey.)

Previous

* Riverside Public Library

Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise


One of downtown Riverside's oldest buildings dating from the late 1800s will soon disappear as a plan for an arts school for Riverside Community College District moves forward.

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@1900
Hotel Holyrood
3801 Market Street
(Courtesy of
Riverside Metropolitan Museum)


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Two postcard views of Hotel Plaza
(Courtesy of Steve Lech)

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2009
3801 Market Street

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2010
Southwest corner of
Market and University

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2011
Market Street at University Avenue

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1926
Riverside Finance Company
3855 Market Street

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1964
Sterling Savings
3855/45 Market Street*

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@1970
Market Street

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2010
3855/45 Market Street

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2010
3855 Market Street

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2011
3855 Market Street

Located at the southwest corner of Market Street and University Avenue, the building in question was originally built as a sanitarium by Dr. Clark Whittier, a wealthy Canadian who bought what was then a muddy marsh in 1881. Bounded by Market, Chestnut, Eighth (University) and Tenth streets, the unimproved land had been designated for public use following the removal of similar plans on land bounded by Market, Main, Seventh (Mission Inn) and Eighth (University) streets (where the California Tower stands today).

Whittier cleaned up and improved the land, creating the planned public park (which later became known as White Park). In exchange, Whittier was granted building rights on portions along Eighth (University) and Tenth streets, with the southwest corner of Eighth and Market becoming the location for his sanitarium in 1884. (A street separating the sanitarium site from White Park still bears Whittier's name to this day.)

Originally referred to as Park House, it appears Whittier's plan for a health spa/sanitarium never fully materialized as he soon allowed Frank Miller, then of the Glenwood Hotel (pre-Mission Inn era), to begin leasing out its 20 rooms and five large bathrooms. (It's also likely during Miller's managing of the building that its name was changed to Park Hotel, as is seen in at least one early photo.)

In 1894, Whittier's widow sold the building to David and Flora Cochrane for $12,000. The Cochranes, also of Canada, remodeled the rooms and renamed the building Hotel Holyrood in 1895. The new name was likely in reference to the Holyrood district of Edinburgh, Scotland (and a nod to David's Scottish roots).

In 1900, the Cochranes added large expansions along both Eighth and Market streets, increasing the hotel's size to accommodate 100 guests.

In 1924, new owner Pliny T. Evans -- son of early Riverside leader, Samuel C. Evans -- streamlined the original building's rustic, three-story mansard-style facade. Evans modernized the interior, converting 70 rooms and 5 bathrooms into 40 larger rooms and 15-20 baths. (Although city permits indicate the 1924 remodeling may have included a new corner building, it's unclear whether this was actually the case. Later newspaper accounts report it as being gutted and remodeled, which exterior photos seem to confer.)

Following the remodeling, the building was renamed Hotel Plaza -- a name that would last atop the building well into the 1990s (view back of sign @1970).

We're not certain when rooms stopped being rented, but a 1980 newspaper article about possible redevelopment for a "modern high-rise" indicates rooms were still occupied. More recently, we seem to recall upper spaces still in use during the mid- to late-1990s.

City permits show the various street level spaces housed several commercial entities over the years, including at least one restaurant (Chung King), two furniture stores (Riverside Home Appliance, Raymonds), a shoe store (Greenwood Shoe), a print shop (American Speedy Printing), a market and deli (Atlas Market), a development firm (Peri & Associates), a skateboard shop (Crooks) and a psychic reader (Psychic Experience).

Though not a particularly striking building in its own right, we've come to admire the old Hotel Plaza building more in recent years, mostly for its place in downtown Riverside's early history. But we've also come to appreciate its old-school "urbanity" -- fire escapes, cluttered backside -- not found much these days, particularly in predominately suburban towns like Riverside.

Along with the demolition of all three buildings that comprise the Hotel Holyrood/Plaza, an adjacent building along Market Street will also come down. Together, the four structures are to be replaced by a $24 million, 51,600 sq. ft. building that will house RCC's Culinary Arts Academy and administrative offices. The new three-story building will include a rooftop reception area. Completion is expected by April 2014.

Situated behind the new Culinary Arts building will be the focal point of the district's overall arts school plan -- the $63.2 million, 88,862 sq. ft. Henry W. and Alice Edna School for the Arts**, which received a $5 million grant from longtime local builder Henry Coil Jr. It will include two levels of underground parking and be situated on an existing parking lot behind the Market Street buildings. This later phase is expected to be completed by Fall 2015.

One exception to the overall demolition plans on the site is the restoration of the former Riverside Finance/Citrus Belt/Sterling Savings building. Located on Market Street adjacent to White Park, it will be remade into the $6.3 million, 11,000 sq. ft. Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties.

Expected to open in June 2012, the center will contain two floors of gallery space and house the college's Mine Okubo archival collection. Riverside-native Okubo was a Japanese American civil rights advocate and alumnus of RCC. She bequeathed her collection to the college upon her death in February 2001.

The most interesting aspect of the 85-year-old building's refurbishment is the uncovering of its original ornate facade, which appeared again this week after being hidden behind a false-front for the past 50 years. Designed by well-known Los Angeles architect Stiles O. Clements (Wiltern Theater, Mayan Theatre), a 1926 newspaper article described the building and its facade as follows:

Plans have been completed for the handsome new office building of the Riverside Finance Company, at Market Street and Whittier Place. ... (the building) emphasizes a classical architectural design ... with an arched entrance of distinctive metropolitan character. ... The ceiling will be unusually high, giving a dignified and attractive effect to the interior of the building.

Riverside Press - Aug. 1926

The classic facade was later hidden behind a flat stucco wall held up by steel beams added around the bank (and adjacent building). The wall was then partially shielded by thin, horizontal slats, giving the building a sleek and modern look popular at the time. City permits seem to indicate this took place in 1961 for then-tenant Citrus Belt Savings & Loan.

Through the years, at least two other banks -- Sterling Savings & Loan and Imperial Savings -- have also occupied the space (we also recall Provident Savings Bank may have had a branch there at some point as well).

A few years back, a hole was punched into the front stucco facade, revealing the still-existing, 1926 Spanish Baroque (Churrigueresque) facade. This revelation no doubt helped save the building as part of the upcoming arts school complex.

In a ground-breaking ceremony held last Thursday for the project, college officials finally unveiled the classic facade. Down came the stucco wall and portions of brick veneer on the side of the building. Also removed was some form of faux marble veneer at the base of the building, revealing brick underneath (which is likely a covering of some sorts as well).

Overall, the 1926 facade looks to be in relatively good shape, though there are portions that appear to have been damaged and possibly even shaved down during the 1961 covering. Hopefully, the refurbishment will be able to fully restore these portions.

Related


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2010
3801 Market
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2010
3801 Market
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2010
3801 Market
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2010
3801 Market
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2010
University


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2010
3845 Market
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2010
3855 Market
(rear)
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2010
3855 Market
(re-numbered)
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2011
3855 Market
(w/o marble)
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2011
3855/3845/3801
Market Street


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2011
3855 Market
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2011
3855 Market
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2011
3855 Market
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2011
3855 Market


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RCC School for the Arts**
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RCC School for the Arts**
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RCC School for the Arts**



* 1964 Poly High School yearbook
** Courtesy of Riverside Community College District

Sources: "Riverside's Invisible Past" (Joan Hall), The Press-Enterprise, City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, "Riverside - 1870-1940" (Steve Lech), Old Riverside Foundation


Fox theater gets retro 'blade' signs

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October 2010
Retro 'blade' signs being added

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1930s
Original 'blade' signs

The first of two old-style neon signs went up this past week on the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside. The signs are replicas of those that adorned the theater in the 1930s and 1940s.

According to The Press-Enterprise, the signs are 22 feet tall and weigh 900 pounds each. The cost to create and install them was $70,000. According to Fox personnel, the second 'blade' sign will be hung next week, at which time both signs should be operational.

The signs are among the final touches to the newly-renovated Fox theater, which reopened earlier this year as the city's long-awaited performing arts center. The 1929-era theater received an extensive rehab that began in 2007. City officials aren't sure what happened to the original 'blade' signs, but believe they were removed sometime during the 1950s.

Last month, workers began dismantling the interiors of twin buildings located adjacent to the Fox on Market Street as phase two of the Fox project. The facades of the twin buildings were saved and will be incorporated into an arcade that will partially shield sidewalks and a new outdoor plaza from the street.

Dubbed as Fox Entertainment Plaza, the development includes a 400-space parking garage, small "black box" theater, 12,000 square feet of commercial space and a 10,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall. Completion is expected in Spring of 2012.

Update: Both blade signs installed: one | two

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Nov. 2010
Retro signs
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Nov. 2010
Fox at night
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Nov. 2010
Neon
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Nov. 2010
Across Market St.
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Oct. 2010
3633 Market Street
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Oct. 2010
3633 Market Street
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Oct. 2010
3633 Market Street


Sources: The Press-Enterprise, City of Riverside


3633 Market Street - De Anza Chevrolet

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2010
3633 Market Street

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2009
3633 Market Street

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Forthcoming parking garage

While driving down Market Street last month, we stumbled upon a bit of local history. Standing alongside downtown's Fox Performing Arts Center was an uncovered facade revealing what once was the former home of long-time Riverside car dealer De Anza Chevrolet (one | two). City permits indicate the building (and its adjacent twin) housed a number of businesses over the years, including automotive, printing and antiques. A 1924 building permit gave the two buildings an estimated value of $35,000.

Currently, the buildings are undergoing demolition as part of the next phase in the Fox Performing Arts Center development. This past week, workers began dismantling the interiors of the twin buildings. Their facades are being secured (one | two) for use as an arcade that will partially shield sidewalks and a new outdoor plaza from the street. Once completed, the project will include a 400-space parking garage, small "black box" theater and a few commercial spaces.

Back to De Anza Chevrolet ... we're not exactly sure when the dealer opened shop within the Market Street building, but city permits show them at the location by the late 1940s. In the early 1960s, however, 7 new car dealers downtown -- including De Anza -- came together to build the Riverside Auto Center. When it opened alongside the 91 Freeway at Adams Street in 1965, this new "auto center" was the first of its kind in the U.S., garnering attention even from Detroit's automakers. Though it remains today, De Anza Chevrolet is now known as Singh Chevrolet.

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2009
3633 Market
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2010
3633 Market
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2010
3633 Market
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2010
3633 Market
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2010
3633 Market


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2010
View south
from Sixth Street
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2009
3605 Market
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2009
3605 Market
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2010
3633 / 3605
Market


Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Auto Dealers Association


Inside the Fox Performing Arts Center

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2010
Main lobby

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2010
Balcony

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Flash: Fox: May 2007 - Jan. 2010

Crowds flocked to the new Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside this past weekend to catch an inside look at the newly-renovated facility following a 3-year, $32 million renovation.

Friday night was the grand opening, fund-raising gala while Saturday and Sunday were open house days. Judging by the looks on the faces of those who attended, no one walked away disappointed. This coming weekend will be the center's first official event -- two nights of Sheryl Crow.

Make no mistake, this was an extensive -- and expensive -- top-to-bottom, inside-and-out renovation. No detail was left undone. And as a result, the Fox is now a first-class music and Broadway-caliber venue. And one that Riverside -- and Inland Southern California as a whole -- can indeed be proud of.

So get out there and enjoy the new Fox.

Flash: Fox: May 2007 - Jan. 2010

Update: A recent entry on the LA Times "Culture Monster" blog digs into some of the renovation's details: A Riverside movie palace is reborn (Jan. 26)

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2010
Box office
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2010
Main lobby
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2010
Balcony
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2010
Back stage


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2010
Lobby
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2010
Theater
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Upper lobby
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2010
Ceiling



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise


Get into the Fox

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After nearly 3 years of renovation -- and several years of planning -- downtown Riverside's Fox Theater is ready to make its debut as the Fox Performing Arts Center.

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2010
Fox Performing Arts Center

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1930s
Fox Riverside

Located at the intersection of Mission Inn Avenue and Market Street, the 1,642-seat Fox Center is the crown jewel of Riverside's 5-year, $1.6 billion "renaissance" public works plan. At just over $32 million, the complete renovation -- including Broadway-caliber staging -- of the 1929-era Fox is also one of the most expensive projects in the 5-year plan, which began in late 2006.

Friday evening Jan. 15 marks the official opening of the new center with the "Fox Foundation Inaugural Gala," a $150-ticket special event intended to show off the Fox as well as begin the process of establishing a community endowment to assist in maintaining and operating the new performance center.

(For those unable to attend the gala, free tours are scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 16-17.)

Update

Related

Previous

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2010
From Mission Inn Avenue
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2010
Opening Gala
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2010
Sheryl Crow
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2010
Exterior details


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2010
Along Mission Inn Avenue
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2010
Main entry
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2010
Main entry
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2010
Exterior details



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise


Long-time Riverside photographer, Michael J. Elderman, has spent nearly 3 years photographing the restoration of downtown Riverside's Fox Theater as it transforms into the 1,600 seat Fox Performing Arts Center.

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Riverside's Fox Theater:
An Intimate Portrait

Michael J. Elderman

Hired by the restoration's project manager to visually capture the massive renovation of the Fox, Elderman soon realized he had the makings for a book. As such, he began planning "Riverside's Fox Theater: An Intimate Portrait," a new, self-published book of his that is expected to become available in mid-December (just in time for January's debut of the new Fox).

On Monday night, Nov. 9th, a photographic exhibit based upon the book will open at La Sierra University with a reception at the university's Brandstater Gallery beginning at 6 p.m. In addition to Elderman's exhibit, the reception will include related discussions and presentations.

Admission to both the reception and exhibit, which runs through December 10th, is free. The university is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, about a mile north of the 91 Freeway in southwestern Riverside.

In mid-December, Elderman's exhibit will shift to the Riverside Art Museum in downtown Riverside, where Elderman plans to offer the Fox book for sale during a special book signing event.

The nearly $30 million renovation of the Fox Theater is part of the city's $1.68 billion "Riverside Renaissance" plan, which includes everything from railroad grade separations and general city infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.) to new/refurbished parks and cultural amenities.

Update

Related

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Out & About - 10/20/2009

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Crews work on the new crossing at Mission Inn Avenue as part of the pedestrian mall makeover in downtown Riverside
Slideshow: Out & About


This week found us taking a stroll along downtown's Main Street pedestrian mall during a workday lunch, where we encountered others also taking in the fall-like weather.

Further up, we noticed both the main entrance and several windows on the former Westbrook's / Imperial Hardware store are now on display for the first time in several years. They had been boarded up for at least the past decade, if not longer.

The sidewalk around the building's foundation has been chipped away in preparation for the pedestrian mall's new surface. It appears a new header has also been put into place. Does this mean the building -- which dates back to 1900, but has sat empty since the 1970s -- is finally about to see a new tenant?

Although Imperial's former false front is no match against Westbrook's 1935 art deco facade, we admit to somewhat missing its mid-century starkness (here's a view from 1967), which covered the building's front from about 1964 until 2007. Regardless, we hope the improvements signal life is once again stirring within the building.

Moving on ... the second phase -- between University and Sixth -- of the makeover for 1966-era pedestrian mall* is nearing completion. This week, crews were busy working on the new mall crossing at Mission Inn Avenue. (The first phase, completed earlier this year, took in the mall's southern blocks between University and Tenth.)

Nearby, a crossing for a soon-to-be water feature is now in place while new pavers, ground plantings and lighting are also being completed. We have mixed feelings on the new lighting. By no means terrible, but also not very unique. Certainly not as unique at the original raincross lights. (We're told they're being salvaged by the city -- for what, we do not know. Let's hope they get shipped off to the city museum as opposed to the landfill.)

The pedestrian mall is expected to be completed in time for this year's "Festival of Lights" on which the months-long work has already started.

Slideshow: Out & About

* Courtesy of Ruhnau, Ruhnau & Clarke


Fox Theater restoration moving along

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With an expected completion date later this year, work continues on the $30 million restoration of the historic Fox Theater in downtown Riverside.

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Feb. 2009
Fox Theater

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Oct. 2008
Renaissance

The renovation of the soon-to-be, 1,600-seat Fox Performing Arts Center includes a complete overhaul of the 1929 theater -- everything from new ventilation systems, theater seats and extensive seismic upgrades to a modern (and larger) stage house. Specialized artisans were hired to replicate the theater's original ornate tiles and painted ceilings.

Recently, the city inked a 5-year deal with the Nederlander Organization, which owns/manages nine Broadway theaters and produces several touring shows, some that will now make stops in Riverside. The new entity -- Broadway in Riverside -- joins the company's existing local management groups, Broadway/San Diego and Broadway/LA.

Grand opening festivities are slated for January 2010.

Still to be decided is an adjacent, 300/400-space parking garage. The city, which recently acquired the remaining properties, says the garage is vital to the overall success of the Fox project. Unfortunately, the garage means partial (or full) demolition of a few older buildings, most of which contain antique stores (one | two). However, a 1920s-era building on Fairmount Avenue is expected to remain, possibly as a storage house for the Fox.

Related



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise


Update: Regency Tower - May 2009

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May 2009
Awaiting a lift

Fifteen months after beginning construction, Regency Tower in downtown Riverside is poised to receive its crown.

Sitting alongside the under-construction office building is a 45-foot high, 80,000-pound steel and aluminum dome. In about a week, the dome will be perched atop the southwest corner of the 10-story building. Developer Moshe Silagi says a special crane will used to perform the hoist.

Located at Tenth and Orange streets, Regency Tower was originally developed for the private market. However, the 260,000 sq. ft. building was purchased late last year by Riverside County in order to consolidate several offices scattered across the city. The county, which said it would have cost more to construct its own from scratch, had been discussing a new building for several years.

Photo Update: Regency Tower w/ dome - One | Two (June 2009)

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Feb. 2008
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Aug. 2008
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Oct. 2008


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Nov. 2008
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Feb. 2009
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March 2009
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June 2009



Sources: The Press-Enterprise


Work began recently on the final phase of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall renovation in downtown Riverside, continuing the first complete refurbishment of the outdoor mall since its 1966* opening.

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2009
Phase two
University block

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2009
Phase two
Mission Inn block

The first phase, which wrapped up in the fall, revamped the two blocks (one | two) located between Tenth Street and University Avenue. Also included was a partial reopening of Ninth Street through the mall as well as sidewalk and street improvements on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.

The current phase encompasses the two blocks between University Avenue and Sixth Street. Crews began removing some trees (one | two) and tearing up the walkway for necessary utility upgrades. Unfortunately, a Corona-based contractor also heavily damaged the 100-year-old "Seth Thomas" clock (photo of damaged clock here). Elite Bobcat Service has agreed to pay for the repairs. We only hope such repairs can be done. At the very least, the city should ensure an equally historic replacement is found.

As previously stated, we're a bit unsure how the redo will look in the areas adjacent to the historic Mission Inn, but we do like what we've seen completed thus far. In particular, the look against the backdrop of City Hall is indeed complimentary.

Overall, we like the added decorative touches (one | two). However, we do feel the "folding chair" look of the wall seats is a bit odd (no doubt, partly influenced by anti-skateboard measures). But the adjacent electrical outlets -- handy when using laptops on the Wi-Fi enabled mall -- help make up for the somewhat strange seats.

Our only real complaint is the new look has caused the mall to lose a bit of character. Although the new lights aren't terrible, we're sad to see the unique raincross lamps gone.

The $10 million project is expected to wrap up this summer.

Photo Gallery: Main Street Pedestrian Mall


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* Photo courtesy of Ruhnau, Ruhnau, Clarke

Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise


Riding the rails at Hunter Hobby Park

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Last Sunday, we had the chance to "ride the rails" at Hunter Hobby Park, one of Riverside's most unique attractions.

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2008
Hunter Hobby Park

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2008
7 1/2 gauge steam trains

riv-2008c-park-hunter-045a-600.jpg
2008
Kids particularly enjoy the trains

Located in northeast Riverside, the 40-acre park began life in the late 1950s as an adjunct "backyard" of sorts to local engineer -- and steam train enthusiast -- Joseph L. Hunter, who laid track down for a personal, small gauge steam engine. The track, which was initially 4,300 feet in length, soon began attracting other train enthusiasts.

Following the 1965 death of Joseph -- who, along with his brother Edwin, built Hunter Engineering, a pioneer of several key, industry-leading patents in the manufacturing of aluminum products -- the park was donated to the city of Riverside. Not being experts in the area of steam engines, the city set up a partnership with local train enthusiasts -- led by Dr. John Creighton of Riverside -- to maintain the system, while the city maintained the park.

Formed in 1966, this all-volunteer group -- Riverside Live Steamers -- immediately began operating, maintaining and expanding the facilities. The club also started providing free rides on selected days each month (currently, the trains operate on the 2nd and 4th Sundays each month).

Today, with a track length of approx. 1 1/2 miles consisting of several switchable configurations, the club includes both personal- and city-owned, 7 1/2 gauge (1/8-sized) engines, with the overriding requirement being "steam-only." Recently, the club built a new "car barn" to augment an already impressive workshop facility.

On the drawing boards -- as part of the city's Riverside Renaissance Initiative -- are several major park improvements, including a new boarding station, train themed playground and a lake for remote-controlled boats. New restrooms, picnic facilities, a concession stand, expanded parking, tennis and basketball courts and improvements to the nearby ball fields are also part of the plan.

So, if you have a couple hours free on an upcoming "run day" Sunday, take a trip to one of the area's most unique attractions for a bit of railroading.

Related

riv-2008c-park-hunter-010-400.jpg
2008
Steam only
riv-2008c-park-hunter-015-600.jpg
2008
Leaving the station
riv-2008c-park-hunter-025-600.jpg
2008
Passenger cars
riv-2008c-park-hunter-029-400.jpg
2008
Caboose


rls-1960-0001ca-600.jpg
@1960
Jim Keith
(w/ one of J.L. Hunter's
original workshops
in background)*
rls-1973-0002ca-600.jpg
@1973
Carl Allen
(w/ view of
Columbia/Iowa
in background)*
rls-0003ca-600.jpg
@early 1980s
Barney Root and
John Stroud (standing)
(w/ Columbia Ave.
in background)*


* B&W photos courtesy of Riverside Live Steamers

Sources: Riverside Live Steamers, City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce


Out & About - 10/14/2008

|
OA_20081012-200.jpg
Flash: Out & About slideshow

riv-2008c-mus-rir-001a-200.jpg
2008
Incorporating the old RIR logo

riv-2008c-marb-mus-098-600.jpg
2008
March Field Air Museum

riv-2008c-marb-mus-054-600.jpg
2008
An original WWI-era plane
traced back to March Field

This past weekend saw us check the status on a few ongoing projects in downtown Riverside, including Regency Tower and Main Street Pedestrian Mall as both projects continue moving along. We also managed to take a nice snapshot overlooking downtown as well as take in two local museums.

First up was a visit to the Riverside International Automotive Museum in Riverside. Located in a business park near Hunter Park, the museum pays homage to the former Riverside International Raceway, which hosted major races on the eastern edge of town from 1957 - 1988. On display are posters, videos and various RIR memorabilia -- including a refrigerator from the driver's lounge. The museum also houses 3 Indy Eagle cars from the track's most prolific racer, Dan Gurney.

But more than just honoring RIR, the museum has a small collection of memorabilia from the former Ontario Motor Speedway (which held races from 1970 to 1980 on land where the new arena now stands). Likewise, several sports cars are on display, ranging from Ferrari and Maserati to Indy cars. It's also a working museum with race car restoration projects in the works.

Photos: Riverside International Raceway

Related



__________________


Next was a stop at March Field Air Museum adjacent to I-215 in southeastern Riverside. Located on the western edge of March Air Reserve Base, the museum is comprised of a few hangar-like structures and several outdoor aircraft displays.

An interior exhibit area offers historical displays on March Field -- which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2008 -- as well as the nation's major wars. Several other displays include the Tuskegee Airmen, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, SAC Commander Gen. Curtis LeMay and the International Combat Camera Association. The museum also includes a short film on the history of March Field -- the oldest Air Force base on the west coast -- and it's involvement within the nation's modern military.

Outside on the museum's flightline are over 50 aircraft, including an SR-71 Blackbird, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress, B-52D Stratofortress, F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle and KC-135 Stratotanker. Also on display are 4 Soviet MiG planes and a small hanger dedicated to the P-38.

The museum is also a working museum, with several hangers set up for ongoing restoration projects. Future plans at the museum include expansion for more interior exhibit space and a re-working of the exterior flightline.

When visiting March Field Air Museum, be sure to make time for a few solemn moments across the freeway at Riverside National Cemetery, which was the former site of Camp Haan during World War II.

Related


riv-2008c-dt-mall-001-600.jpg
Sept. 2008
Renovation details

riv-2008c-dt-mall-008-600.jpg
Sept. 2008
Fountain improvements
outside City Hall

riv-2008c-dt-mall-016-600.jpg
Sept. 2008
View north toward
University Avenue from Ninth Street

Work continues to move along on the $10 million renovation of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Riverside. The project is the first major rehab of the mall, which opened in 1966* spanning the former "Main Street" between Tenth and Sixth streets.

Construction began this past Spring between Tenth Street and University Avenue as well as the sidewalks on Main Street between Sixth and Fifth streets. Completion is expected to be completed by Fall. Work on the remaining two sections (one | two) between University Avenue and Sixth Street will begin after the first of the year with completion not likely until mid-2009.

So far, we like what we see, especially the interlocking pavers, which helps give the newness a rustic feel. Though not 100% complete, the look and feel between Ninth and Tenth streets is clean and crisp (maybe too much so) and even compliments City Hall. However, we're a bit unsure how the style will look in the more historic areas, particularly adjacent to portions of the Mission Inn. Truth be told, this portion of the mall -- with the most mature trees and park-like feel -- is least in need of complete renovation.

Included in the overall project is the reopening of Ninth Street through the mall. As a result, the city uprooted one of the mall's long-standing art fixtures, the Riverside Tripod. Designed by noted artist James Rosati, the sculpture sat alongside City Hall since 1976 before being replanted at the city's recently-built Fire Station No. 5.

In a fitting tribute, the Tripod was rededicated earlier this month as part of Sept. 11th observances. The new location is meant to commemorate both Rosati -- whose famed "Ideogram"** sculpture was destroyed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center -- and Riverside Fire personnel who responded to New York City in the aftermath.

Related

Previous

* Photo courtesy of Ruhnau, Ruhnau, Clarke
** Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Sullivan at Bluffton University



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise


Last Tuesday, the Riverside City Council approved in concept the recommendations for the future expansions of downtown's Main Library and Riverside Metropolitan Museum as outlined by a community task force.

The recommendations, which have also been endorsed by the governing boards of both institutions, call for the library to double in size to 120,000 square feet and the museum expansion to total 70,000 square feet. The task force also recommended the final proposal should provide adequate parking facilities and retain the Chinese Pavilion in its current spot.

The approvals come after several months of public hearings that began following a public meeting held in January on the original joint-use expansion proposal. Public opposition to the plan led to the formation of a 22-member task force that was given the job of revising the original proposal.

Next up will be two workshops -- an October meeting to formalize actual space needs and a second set for November to discuss design and funding aspects.

Previous

Sources: The Press-Enterprise


Update: Regency Tower - July 2008

|
2008-riv-regency-tower-001-600.jpg
Rendering
Silagi Development


Project site
Google

A drive past the site of the Regency Tower site in downtown Riverside shows work is well underway on the 3-level, underground parking garage for the $70 million office building.

The past few weeks has seen the arrival of an on-site crane used for the building's skeletal steel frame. Over the next several months, downtown visitors will see the steel frame, which is currently at ground level, rise up into the city's skyline.

Site preparation for the project began in April 2007 with actual construction starting on the subterranean parking this past February. Completion of the 10-story, 250,000 sq. ft. building is expected in late 2009.

Previous



Jan. 2007
riv-2008f-dt-regency-005ac-450.jpg
Feb. 2008
riv-2008fn-dt-regency-030-450.jpg
July 2008
riv-2008fn-dt-regency-035-600.jpg
July 2008
Underground
parking

riv-2006-dt-library-017ac-600.jpg
2006
Central Library

riv-2004-dt-museum-009a-600.jpg
2004
Riverside Metropolitan Museum

After several months of public meetings, the 22-member Library/Museum task force held its final session this past week, producing what it calls "guiding principles" for the planned expansions of downtown's Central Library and Riverside Metropolitan Museum. The key recommendation calls for separate expansions of both facilities, with enough space for each to meet their needs.

As part of the recommendation, the panel urged the city to expedite funding and approval of the expansions and also emphasized its desire to see the Chinese Memorial Pavilion remain in its current spot, which we're glad to see.

The city's Board of Library Trustees has already endorsed the guidelines with the museum board set to vote on the matter July 8. The guidelines will then go before the City Council for review on August 12.

Recently, two opposing viewpoints concerning the existing library building appeared in The Press-Enterprise (one | two). Though both articles make good points, it should be no surprise that we agree with Steve Lech in that demolishing the current building would be akin to demolishing the original Carnegie back in 1965. It shouldn't have been done then -- and it shouldn't be done now.

Previous

Sources: The Press-Enterprise


Out & About - 06/15/2008

|

The past two weekends saw us at opposite ends of Riverside. Last weekend, we had the chance to take in the reopened Arlington Branch Library. While there, we took a few photos of the nearby Arlington Village commercial area. This weekend, we spent some time downtown checking in on the refurbishing of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall.

OA_20080223-200.jpg
Flash: Out & About slideshow

1907-riv-randa-railway-001-600.jpg
1907
Riverside & Arlington Railway
1962 Interurbans Magazine

1907-riv-randa-railway-002-600.jpg
1907
Riverside & Arlington Railway
1962 Interurbans Magazine

About 5 miles southwest of downtown Riverside sits Arlington Village. Located at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard, the village hails from what was originally known as the Town of Arlington. Founded in 1877 by prominent Riversiders S.C. Evans and William Sayward, Arlington was in many ways Riverside's first suburb, with streetcars* running between the two towns. As such, it was included within Riverside's boundaries upon official incorporation in 1883.

By the early 1900s, the area contained a library, fire station, newspaper office, two-story commercial building, local schools, churches and several businesses. The commercial area thrived well into the 1960s, partly on account of being the nearby home to Riverside County General Hospital, a place where it would remain for 100 years before a new county hospital opened in Moreno Valley in 1998.

About a mile south of Arlington Village is the land that sprouted much of Riverside's famous Washington Navel orange groves. Today, the area still includes large swaths of groves thanks in part to the Arlington Heights Greenbelt citrus preserve. It also includes the 377-acre California Citrus State Historic Park -- an actual working citrus grove, museum and park.

Fifty years after the Riverside Freeway and nearly 40 years after the nearby Galleria at Tyler reduced the importance of the area as a major commercial center, Arlington Village is staging a comeback. Recent street and sidewalk improvements and refurbished storefronts have given the neighborhood new life. Besides the newly-expanded library, a recent addition to the village is a large wall mural composed from photographs depicting Magnolia Avenue at Van Buren Boulevard during the 1940s.

With a bit of vision and planning -- and a small residential townhome/condo component -- the village could easily sprout into a nice, semi-urban landscape consisting of more restaurants and shops all within easy walking distance.

Elsewhere in Riverside, work is progressing on the makeover of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown. New low-lying retaining walls have sprung up on the mall between Ninth Street and University Avenue as has framework for a new fountain. The next phase will include the blocks between University Avenue and Sixth Street. The $10 million project began in March and is expected to be completed in spring 2009

Concurrent work also continues on the old Rouse Building -- the soon-to-be UCR/Culver Center of the Arts -- as well as the reopening of Ninth Street through the mall adjacent to City Hall. Nearby, foundation work is moving along at the Regency Tower site, located at Tenth and Orange streets.

Flash: Out & About slideshow

Related

Previous

* Copyright 1962 Interurbans Magazine

Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson), "Arlington" (Georgia Gordon Sercl), Interurbans Magazine


A City Council-appointed task force assigned with revising Riverside's library-museum expansion plans issued its draft recommendation this week calling for separate expansions for both institutions. The recommendation, which would reverse the city's earlier combined expansion proposal, comes after several recent public meetings on the issue.


2006
Central Library

riv-2006-dt-museum-010-600.jpg
2006
Riverside Metropolitan Museum

riv-2007f-dt-museum-011a-450.jpg
2007
Museum exhibit

Most critics of the original $25 million proposal -- part of the city's Riverside Renaissance Initiative -- feared joint expansion would shortchange both entities. That plan called for an approximately 35,000 sq. ft. expansion: 9,500 sq. ft. children's section, 10,500 sq. ft. community/office space (with 250-seat auditorium) and up to 15,000 sq. ft. exhibition/flex space. Drawn up by Pfeiffer Partners Architects, Inc., the plan expanded outward in front of the current library, including displacement of the Chinese Memorial Pavilion.

Since then, several community members, residents and various civic groups have voiced opinions on the matter. The "Committee to Renew the Library" and "The Raincross Group" have both considered plans of their own, the latter recommending a 60,000 sq. ft. library expansion (basement plus two stories) in front of the current library (sparing the Chinese Pavilion); and, a 30,000 sq. ft. museum expansion (3 stories) behind the current museum. Estimates for both expansions are $38 million -- approximately $13 million more than the original joint-expansion project.

The task force's draft recommendation of separate expansions now moves ahead for a public hearing scheduled for June 18, after which a final task force meeting on June 25 will address any changes before forwarding the panel's final recommendation to the City Council (scheduled for August 12).

Whatever the final outcome, we agree both institutions should remain downtown at their current locations. Likewise, we'd prefer to see neither building's architecture severely compromised with any future expansions. Though many may say the current architecture of the library does not fit its immediate surroundings, we believe it has its own architectural merits (one | two | three) on which to stand, and thus, should not be significantly altered.

Previous


Sources: The Press-Enterprise


Arlington Branch Library reopens

|

After nearly 2 years of construction and renovation, Riverside's Arlington Branch Library reopened to the public this past week following an 8,000 sq. ft. addition to the 99-year-old building. The new wing nearly triples the size of the current library to 13,000 sq. ft.

riv-2008f-lib-arlington-010a-450.jpg
2008
Original building

riv-2008f-lib-arlington-004a-600.jpg
2008
New addition

riv-2008f-lib-arlington-053a-450.jpg
2008
Shades of the past

The new addition mimics the original building's Greek Revival styling, which was designed by local architect Seeley L. Pillar. When it first opened on June 1, 1909, the new library was the city's first "branch" library and was built to serve the southern and western portions of Riverside.

Though not technically a Carnegie library, the city built the Arlington Branch after obtaining $7,500 from the Carnegie Foundation for expanding the downtown library. The grant used for the downtown expansion freed up $7,500 for the new Arlington library, which also included a fire station attached to the back of the building.

A year-long, $8,000 renovation began in 1927 to upgrade the library after it was declared structurally unsafe, causing a temporary closure. Subsequent renovations and expansions over the years included an extensive rehab during the late 1950s; the re-use of the space housing the former fire station in 1968 (which had relocated to a separate building about a quarter-mile east on Magnolia Avenue in 1938); and another renovation in 1996.

Today, the new wing houses the majority of the library's collection of 45,000 titles. An expanded children's section, lower shelving heights and several seating areas help give the new addition a bookstore atmosphere, while natural lighting provided by expansive windows and skylights gives the library an open-air feel. Thirty-four computers and 2 self-checkout stations round out the expanded facility.

The former main room in the original building is now a 110-seat community room. Historic photographs of Riverside's past act as translucent shades on the windows that surround the room.

In a nod to the building's past, the library's new entrance uses the old stable building from the days when the structure housed the fire station. Located in this new foyer are two glass cases housing both fire- and citrus-related memorabilia from the city's past.

The reopening of the Arlington Branch is the latest improvement made to the city's 7-branch library system, which is in the midst of its largest building and renovation campaign in its history. Other projects include the soon-to-open Orange Terrace Branch Library, the relocation of the Marcy Branch Library and the expansion/renovation of downtown's Central Library. It also comes on the heels of the recent expansions/renovations at the Eastside Library/Cybrary and the La Sierra Branch Library as well as the opening of the Casa Blanca Library & Family Learning Center a few years back.

Related

Previous

riv-2006-lib-arlng-013-600.jpg
2006
Former stable
riv-2008f-lib-arlington-024-600.jpg
2008
New foyer
riv-2008f-lib-arlington-070-600.jpg
2008
New wing

riv-2008f-lib-arlington-041-600.jpg
2008
Computer stations
riv-2008f-lib-arlington-071-600.jpg
2008
Stylish seating
riv-2008f-lib-arlington-049a-600.jpg
2008
Community room



Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson), "Arlington" (Georgia Gordon Sercl)


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