William Lee Gates - 3770 Elizabeth Street

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R.P. Small Building
3770 Elizabeth Street, Riverside
(William Lee Gates)


Tucked away on a side street off Magnolia Avenue near the Riverside Plaza is the R.P. Small Building, a stylish, mid-century modern building designed by local Riverside architect William Lee Gates. City permits from 1956 show Russell E. Walling as the contractor with an estimated value of $40,000.

A quick web search on William Lee Gates finds he was born in 1926 in Portland, Oregon. According to a December 2002 obit in The Press-Enterprise newspaper, Gates served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and Korea. He received his M.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1952 before running his own practice in Riverside until retiring in 1975. After 29 years in Riverside, he relocated back to Portland in 1986.

Gates designed all types of buildings, including residential, commercial, educational and governmental. Among his works locally are the Victoria United Presbyterian Church, 6833 Brockton Avenue and Riverside fire stations #3 (1962), #4 (1962), #7 (1967). He was a member of the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) from 1956-1988.

Until recently, one of the Small Building's primary tenants was Salon Siner. According to their Facebook page, Salon Siner had been in the Wall Building since 1964. The salon relocated around the corner at 6056 Magnolia Avenue in early 2010.

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2008
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2008
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2008

Sources: The Press-Enterprise, American Institute of Architects, City of Riverside, William Lee Gates - A.I.A. (1964 booklet)



2 Comments

Oh, I love this one! Have been meaning to add it to the site, but the site needs an overhaul (from iWeb to ANYTHING that isn't iWeb). So glad you profiled it.

Yes, the stairway visible behind the entry glass is classic mid-century design.

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