City News: July 2006 Archives

New interchange partially opens

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The first significant portion of the soon-to-be rebuilt 60/91/215 interchange in downtown Riverside opened this week, bringing some long-awaited relief for locals and commuters alike, many of which have come to despise the antiquated interchange.

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2006
Westbound flyover
Flash: View photo overlay

The new eastbound connector, though still somewhat temporary in nature, should allow for smoother transitioning from eastbound Highway 91 to eastbound Highway 60/southbound I-215. Reconfiguring a portion of the existing eastbound 91 adjacent to the new connector will come next, eventually allowing for the full implementation of the new transition.

When fully completed in late 2007, the interchange will also sport two new freeway-to-freeway connector ramps, auxiliary lanes and a wider main line allowing for future carpool/lane additions.

Also included in the overall $320 million project are major improvements on the 60/215 portion between downtown Riverside and Moreno Valley, with new overcrossings, improved access to UC Riverside, carpool lane extensions and an eastbound truck-only lane.

Though partially delayed due to initial funding obstacles and rising costs, the downtown interchange project was one of the key elements of a half-cent sales tax/transportation improvement package (Measure A) that Riverside County voters overwhelmingly approved (79%) in 1988 and extended an additional 30-years (69%) in 2002.

No doubt, residents old and new alike will be glad to finally see the end is nearing for 'malfunction junction.'

Photo Gallery: 60/91/215 interchange project

Related

Previous

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2004
Westbound flyover
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2005
Westbound flyover
above Spruce St.
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2006
Westbound flyover

Herman Ruhnau, AIA

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Last month, one of Southern California's notable post-modern architects, Herman O. Ruhnau, passed away at the age of 93 in Riverside, a city in which he left a distinctive architectural legacy.

A German by descent, Mr. Ruhnau was born Sept. 1, 1912, in Santa Barbara, eventually moving with his family to Pasadena before permanently relocating to Riverside. Ruhnau studied architecture at USC and served as an architect in the Navy during World War II, returning to Riverside following the war.

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2006
Riverside County
Administrative Center (1975)

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2006
Riverside City Hall (1975)

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Original model of City Hall
Ruhnau

In 1950, Mr. Ruhnau was a founding partner of the Riverside architectural firm now known as Ruhnau, Ruhnau & Clarke. Among the buildings designed by Ruhnau's firm are two of the city's most prominent buildings: Riverside City Hall (1975) and Riverside County Administrative Center (1975):

When architect Herman Ruhnau was commissioned to design a new City Hall for Riverside in the early 1970s, his initial vision was of a sleek white concrete and recessed-glass building whose six-stories rose like alternating layers of vanilla cake with chocolate filling.

"Then we heard the cry: 'We want arches.'"

...

(On Riverside County Administrative Center) ...initial plans drafted in the mid-1960s called for an eight- to 10-story concrete and steel vertically striped tower on a solid two-story concrete base. But before the tower could be erected...Ruhnau says county officials asked for an additional two or three stories.

"We had only designed the foundation to hold 10 stories," he explains, "and the only way we could add the extra space was to redo the foundation, which was impossible, or to find some light building material that the foundation could hold."

Mirrored glass became the answer.

The Press-Enterprise (April, 1984)

Ruhnau's firm specialized in public buildings and built numerous schools throughout Inland Southern California, including La Sierra High School (1969), Norte Vista High School and Sherman Indian High School, all in Riverside. Ruhnau also designed the city's Marcy Branch Library (1958) and worked on the designs for Corona Naval Hospital in Norco.

Probably the most unique feature designed by the firm for Riverside that remains today is the downtown Main Street pedestrian mall (1966). Designed in response to the suburban exodus of retailers for large shopping malls -- including Riverside Plaza (1956) -- the pedestrian mall is making a comeback today as both residents, retailers and businesses alike rediscover its uniqueness and charm in the heart of downtown Riverside.

The non-vehicular, park-like mall stretches for 7 city blocks (Tenth to Third streets) with only one interruption (Fifth to Sixth streets) and one yet to be fully developed portion (Fourth to Third streets). Major anchors along the mall include the Mission Inn, California Tower, UCR/CMP, UCR/Culver Arts Center, Riverside Marriott as well as two civic buildings: Raincross Square Convention Center and the aforementioned City Hall.

Although a number of similar pedestrian malls were created as a response to the suburban phenomenon that deserted many downtowns during the post-war years, only a handful remain intact today, something residents and city leaders alike should remember when major changes are proposed.

In 1974, Mr. Ruhnau was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Inland Chapter of the AIA this past April.

Related

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2006
Pedestrian Mall
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2006
City Hall
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2006
City Hall
ruhnau-riv-1970s-county-02a-450.jpg
@1973
Riv. Co. Admin
Rhunau
ruhnau-riv-1976-county-01a-450.jpg
@1976
Riv. Co. Admin
Rhunau

Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, Rhunau Ruhnau Clarke, The Press-Enterprise, Los Angeles Times
More - City News: July 2006:
April 2012 | March 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | March 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | November 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | December 2007 | October 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007 | February 2007 | November 2006 | September 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | December 2005 | October 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 |

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the City News category from July 2006.

City News: June 2006 is the previous archive.

City News: August 2006 is the next archive.

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