Then & Now: May 2010 Archives

May 2010
3520 Tyler Street, Riverside

1979 advertisement
Greater Riverside
Chambers of Commerce

Target (on left) & Mervyn's

Unhidden squiggly

Kohl's incoming

This past weekend, we stumbled upon a bit of retail archeology when we noticed the false-front of a now-shuttered Mervyn's had been removed to reveal the zig-zag roofline of the building's original occupant -- The Treasury. (The removal is part of refurbishing the former Mervyn's space for an incoming Kohl's, expected to open in September 2010.)

For those who don't remember, The Treasury was the discount division of JCPenney, which acquired the small chain (also known as Treasure Island in some parts of the U.S.) from General Merchandise Co. in 1962. Many of the stores sported a zig-zag roofline above the main entrance, which became part of the chain's advertising slogan of "Under the squiggly roof."

The stores were quite large, often in excess of 150,000 sq. feet. Permits from 1971 show the Riverside location at just under 185,000 sq. ft. (plus an 11,600 sq. ft. basement). To help patrons navigate the expansive sales floor, several colored lines designating the major departments (housewares, electronics, toys, womens' clothing, etc.) fanned out on the floor from the main entrance leading shoppers toward the desired department.

The Riverside store, located at 3520 Tyler Street, opened in 1972 and closed in 1981 when JCP shut down the then money-losing discount chain. Permits indicate the Riverside location was developed by Ernest W. Hahn, who also opened the then Tyler Mall (Galleria at Tyler) across the street in 1970.

In early 1983, Minneapolis-based Dayton-Hudson purchased the former Treasury site in Riverside, partitioning the large building for use as both a Target and Mervyn's. A Press-Enterprise article from July 1983 indicates Mervyn's spent $7.7 million over 4 months to refurbish its portion of the building (approximately 79,000 sq. ft.). (Interesting to note, the article also states Mervyn's had been looking for a site in the city since 1975 -- prior to the chain's 1978 acquisition by Dayton-Hudson -- but was unable to find a suitable location.)

Around 1992, Target enlarged their portion of the building slightly by expanding outward along the store's Diana Avenue (freeway side) frontage.

In mid 2008, Mervyn's -- now no longer part of Target Corp. (formerly Dayton-Hudson) -- filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, eventually leading to the shuttering of the chain by early 2009. The Riverside location remained vacant until the recent renovation by Kohl's.


Concealed zig-zags
Tyler street facade

Zig-zags revealed
Tyler street facade

Sources: The Press-Enterprise, City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, WikiPedia

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Then & Now category from May 2010.

Then & Now: January 2010 is the previous archive.

Then & Now: June 2010 is the next archive.

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

Follow Us

Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

Powered by Movable Type 4.35-en
version: 4.35-en
  • Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feeds: Atom




Recent Comments

RXSQ on Sharing a bit of library love: @Rene -- Thanks for commenting! Typically, a love/ ...

Rene on Sharing a bit of library love: Am I the only one who thinks it's hideous? It's no ...

RXSQ on Behind the scenes: @Jason -- Yes, it's usually in stock at the Rivers ...

Jason on Behind the scenes: Is Riverside - Then & Now available at Barnes and ...

RXSQ on Latest plans for downtown library: renovation, not demolition: @Michael -- Thanks for the comment and we agree 10 ...



Got Riverside? RaincrossSquare is now on CafePress! We are offering a limited number of products -- such as framed prints, postcards and calendars -- using locally-themed images and graphics. Please feel free to browse our online shop.

Photo Request: 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. Read more...


Photo Galleries
Downtown | City

Photo Pool
items in Raincross Square View/add photos: Raincross Square photo pool

Of Interest

Local Links