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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Then & Now — 4129 Main Street

Then & Now — 4129 Main Street

In April 1928, reports surfaced that retailing giants Sears and Montgomery Ward were both considering stores for Riverside, possibly at Seventh and Lime, and Ninth and Orange streets respectively. However, these sites would not come to fruition as both retailers eventually ended up elsewhere in downtown. Just before the opening of Sears at Fifth and Main in February 1929 (more…

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Postcard: Beautiful Riverside, California

Postcard: Beautiful Riverside, California

Here’s an aerial view from approximately 1960 over downtown Riverside. The view is looking north from Fourteenth Street, with the intersection of Fourteenth and Market/Magnolia at bottom-left. At top-right is the then relatively new Riverside Freeway (Highway 91), with southbound off-ramp at Seventh Street (now Mission Inn Avenue) and southbound on-ramp at Ninth Street (currently being re-configured to enter the…

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Gallery: Riverside — Downtown Buildings

Gallery: Riverside — Downtown Buildings

Downtown Riverside’s first modern mid-rise — the eight-story Crocker-Citizens Bank building — opened in 1965. Since then, several more office buildings have popped up, adding to the city’s modest, but growing skyline. Some of these include Mount Rubidoux Manor (@1971), Security Pacific Bank (California Tower) (1973), County Admin Building (1975/2002), City Hall (1975), Riverside Centre (1982), Sheraton Hotel (Marriott) (1987),…

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Out & About: Discover Riverside

Out & About: Discover Riverside

Ever wanted to peek inside Riverside’s historic Fox Theater? The recently renovated Municipal Auditorium? The red sandstone Universalist Church? Or maybe the former Rouse Department Store (now UCR/Culver Center of the Arts)? This Saturday (10/13), you will get your chance during a day-long event — “Discover Riverside” — presented by the AIAIC (American Institute of Architects – Inland California chapter)….

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Riverside Municipal Auditorium reopens following renovation

Riverside Municipal Auditorium reopens following renovation

After nearly two years of renovation and seismic upgrades, downtown Riverside’s historic Municipal Auditorium was rededicated by city officials during an open house held earlier this month. Included in the $10 million makeover of the 1928-29 structure is better seating, lighting, acoustics and fully-renovated lower level and backstage areas. A large open area in front of the stage allows for…

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Gallery: Riverside — Historic County Courthouse

Gallery: Riverside — Historic County Courthouse

Designed by Franklin P. Burnham of the Los Angeles architectural firm of Burnham and Bliesner, the cost of constructing the Beaux Arts styled courthouse was $160,000. Construction began on May 7, 1903 and was completed June 23, 1904. In 1995, the courthouse underwent a 3-year, $25 million renovation and seismic upgrade. The building’s ornate facade was modeled after both the…

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