Then & Now: August 2008 Archives

Then & Now - Downtown Post Office

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Over the past 96 years, downtown Riverside has seen 2 main post offices built, the first in 1912 and the second in 1939.

TN-usps-1950s-2008-500.jpg
U.S. Post Office
Late 1950s - 2008
Flash: View photo overlay

First came the 1912 Federal Building located on Seventh Street (Mission Inn Avenue). Sporting Italian-Renaissance architecture, the building served as the city's main post office for nearly 30 years. Afterward, the building became the headquarters for the 4th Air Force during World War II. Later uses included housing the city's police department*, and currently, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

The second downtown post office, located a few blocks away on the northeast corner of Ninth and Orange streets, came online just as World War II was beginning. Built at a cost of $175,900, this later version sports Spanish-Mission architecture with Art Deco/Moderne-influenced designs inside.

Seen in photos approximately 50 years apart, this second post office remains an architectural gem in downtown today. Note in the 1950s photo the lack of trees but a hedge which still remains today. Note also that Orange Street is a two-way street as opposed to today's one-way between University Avenue and Fourteenth Street.

Finally, visible in the far right background of the earlier photo is the First Baptist Church. Located at the northeast corner of Ninth and Lemon, the church site today is home to a 5-story building constructed in the late 1980s.

Flash: Downtown Post Office - Late 1950s - 2008

* Photo courtesy of RPD Remembers

Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, The Press-Enterprise, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson)


Photo request: Post-1940 Riverside

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Time to rummage through those personal and family photo albums -- we're looking for photos!

1966-riv-dt-mall-001-600.jpg
1966
Main Street Pedestrian Mall
Photo courtesy of RPD Remembers

In particular, we're looking for iconic shots and city views taken between 1940 - 1990 in and around Riverside, especially those where the landscape has significantly changed. From downtown to Arlington and from UCR to La Sierra, think: buildings, shopping centers, street scenes, schools, homes, previously vacant lots -- just about anything and everything.

Tyler Mall and Riverside Plaza? Magnolia and University avenues? Mt. Rubidoux and Riverside International Raceway? March Air Force Base and Camp Haan? Main Street and the downtown pedestrian mall? Basically, if you've got it, we want to use it.

The photos can be of any size and either B&W or color, but the larger -- and higher quality -- the better. And of course, if we use it, you'll get photo credit.

If you have a photo you'd like to share, let us know: webmaster(at)raincrosssquare(dot)com.

And thanks!


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Then & Now category from August 2008.

Then & Now: May 2008 is the previous archive.

Then & Now: May 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the RXSQ Main Index or look in the Master Archives to find all content.

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