Riverside Auto Center nearing 50 years

Riverside Auto Center nearing 50 years

Billed as the “World’s First Auto Center,” the 1965 opening of the Riverside Auto Center transformed the car-buying landscape in America, if not the world. What began in the late 1950s as a bold vision among three local car dealers – George Reade Sr. (Chevrolet), Charles W. “Bud” Dutton Sr. (Cadillac/Oldsmobile), and Julian Adrian “Red” Moss Sr. (Dodge) – to…

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Gallery: Riverside — Pedestrian Mall: 1966-2008

Gallery: Riverside — Pedestrian Mall: 1966-2008

Following the 1957 opening of the Riverside Plaza mall, downtown shopping began a slow but steady decline. In response, city leaders quickly began working at remaking the city’s civic center. Discussions took place regarding additional parking, modernized storefronts, and streetscape improvements. In June 1958, Los Angeles architectural firm Welton-Beckett & Associates presented a downtown master plan covering several city blocks….

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Nordstrom Rack set to open at Riverside Plaza

Nordstrom Rack set to open at Riverside Plaza

Six months after being announced, the Riverside Plaza store of Nordstrom Rack is nearing its April 3rd opening date. The sibling of the high-end retailer will take up residence within a portion of the former Harris/Gottschalks/Forever 21 building, taking up a reported 45,000 sq. ft. on the ground level. The 3-story building underwent an extensive remodel over the past year…

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Renovated Riverside Convention Center reopens

Renovated Riverside Convention Center reopens

After several years of planning and 1.5 years of reconstruction, the doors swung open March 1 on the extensively renovated Riverside Convention Center in downtown. Located at the northern end of the Main Street pedestrian mall at Fifth Street, the convention center began life in 1976 as Ben H. Lewis Hall at Raincross Square. It has undergone a few modest…

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Major makeover underway at 4075 Main Street

Major makeover underway at 4075 Main Street

Work is well underway remaking 4075 Main Street in downtown Riverside into the new home for Riverside County Public Defender. The 8-story building was Riverside’s first modern, mid-rise commercial office building when it opened in 1965. In April 1962, Greschner Investment Corp. of Santa Ana and Los Angeles-based Citizens National Bank* proposed the office building and adjacent parking garage. The…

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Riverside’s California Tower turns 40

Riverside’s California Tower turns 40

Just over 40 years ago, in April 1973, the first of three modern, mid-rise office buildings opened along Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall, ushering in a new era of mixed uses and densities along Main Street. Like many American downtowns of the era, downtown Riverside’s retail component continued declining during the 1960s, due in part to the rise of the suburban…

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21st annual ‘Festival of Lights’

21st annual ‘Festival of Lights’

Each year, thousands of visitors gather in and around the Mission Inn and along the pedestrian mall in downtown Riverside for the ‘Festival of Lights,’ which includes approximately 4 million holiday lights and over 400 animated figures. What began in 1993 as a modest, hotel-only event has grown into one of the premier holiday lights displays in the country. Roving…

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