Mid-Century: August 2009 Archives

Forever 21 at Riverside Plaza

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This weekend marked the grand opening of Forever 21 clothing stores inside former Gottschalks/Harris' buildings at Riverside Plaza and Hemet Valley Mall. The stores are part of the Los Angeles-based retailer's aggressive growth plans that includes new large-format stores, many of which are currently taking up residence within former Mervyn's and Gottschalks stores.

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2009
Forever 21

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1964
Harris'

In excess of 50,000 sq. ft. -- well above the majority of the chain's existing mall stores, most of which are under 10,000 sq. ft. -- these larger stores will include a wide-ranging mix of clothing and accessories for both men, women and youth. More recently, the chain began opening 20,000 sq. ft. stores, including a location at The Shoppes at Chino Hills.

Initially, the Riverside location will take up 90,000 sq. ft. on two levels of the 204,000 sq. ft., 3-story store, which opened in 1957 as Harris'. Future plans call for possible expansion into some of the third floor, likely making it one of the largest stores in the chain. What will eventually become of the unused portions of the building -- including a basement -- remain unknown.

Earlier this year, the chain opened a large-format store in a former Mervyn's store in Victorville. A fourth Inland Southern California store is expected to open later this fall inside a former 3-story, Macy's/Broadway department store at Inland Center mall in San Bernardino. Once fully occupied, it will likely rival the Riverside location in eventual size.

It'll be interesting to watch how these new large-format stores evolve -- and perform -- for the mostly youth-oriented clothing chain. At the very least, the re-using of the former Gottschalks/Harris' (Riverside) and Macy's/Broadway (San Bernardino) have forestalled any potential demolition of the mid-century department store buildings.

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Sources: The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Plaza, City of Riverside


Then & Now - Riverside Town House

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Then & Now
Riverside Town House: 1950s - 2009
Flash: View photo overlay

We know little of the history surrounding the block bounded by Fifth, Sixth, Lemon and Lime streets in downtown Riverside, but a 1948 aerial photo shows the entire lot devoid of development, with grass, shrubbery and some trees as well as a few walking paths. Although it's likely the block once contained at least a few homes, the 1948 aerial gives the impression the lot had recently become an impromptu neighborhood park.

In December 1948, however, a building permit was issued for a 96-unit apartment complex, which would encompass the entire block. According to the permit, the applicant (and owner) was Mr. J.J. Goldbach, who listed a McAllister Ave. address in the Arlington area of Riverside. The permit also lists architect William F. Mellin, A.I.A., of 671 "D" Street in San Bernardino.

The "Riverside Town House" project, which was given an address of 3489 Sixth Street, was initially valued at $500,000, resulting in permit fees of $292.00.

Nearly 60 years later, excepting for the addition of utility lines, the much taller palm trees and a few re-positioned light poles, it appears little else has changed.

Flash: Riverside Townhouse: 1950s - 2009

More: RaincrossSquare.com - Then & Now

Sources: City of Riverside, HistoricAerials.com


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Century category from August 2009.

Mid-Century: July 2009 is the previous archive.

Mid-Century: September 2009 is the next archive.

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