Pedestrian mall renovation nearing halfway point

| | Comments (2)
riv-2008c-dt-mall-001-600.jpg
Sept. 2008
Renovation details

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Sept. 2008
Fountain improvements
outside City Hall

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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.

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



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise



2 Comments

"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."

I have a feeling these words are going to be haunting. After walking up and down the pedestrian mall the other day (well... even before then), I have had a gut feeling that the redesign for the Sixth St./Mission Inn Ave. portion is going to leave the area lacking.

The new water feature planned for that area seems like it will be a step down from the current one that is very appealing and interesting. As you approach the Mission Inn coming from University Ave., the current water feature is so inviting, where the new one will be off to the side; almost as an afterthought. I think the tile-decorated planter boxes/walls are also so unique and so appropriate next to the Mission Inn, that to get rid of them will be a shame... maybe a crime.

The sections that are done already look beautiful and appropriate for the rest of the mall. I have to say that I am looking forward to the renovation of the mall between University and Mission Inn; the new civic area in the center should be a major plus for the mall.

I just think the Sixth St./ Mission Inn portion should remain untouched or undergo refurbishing rather than demolition. The only thing that looks good that is to be added is a paved circle area that will have two navel orange trees across from each other (across or in front of Bella Trattoria.)

I think it's going to be very sad to lose this portion of the mall if not regrettable. I think this could really be a mistake.

(Pub: Jan. 12 2009)

I just think the Sixth St./ Mission Inn portion should remain untouched or undergo refurbishing rather than demolition. ... I think it's going to be very sad to lose this portion of the mall if not regrettable. I think this could really be a mistake.

Yes, this is the section we too are holding our breath a bit on with regards to the makeover. Indeed, of all the portions of the current mall, it has the most historic charm. Hopefully, its unique, "park-like" feel won't end up overly homogenized.

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This page contains a single entry by RXSQ published on September 23, 2008 8:28 PM.

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