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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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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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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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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Is streetcar service in Riverside’s ‘reconnected’ future?

Is streetcar service in Riverside’s ‘reconnected’ future?

A special and unique appearance of a light rail car in downtown Riverside on Thursday gave residents a chance to view the possible future of transportation in Riverside. It also brought back the idea of Southern California’s once grand, Pacific Electric streetcar system, which formerly ran lines down Main, Market, Seventh (Mission Inn) and Magnolia streets in Riverside. Built by…

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Downtown fire station dedicated

Downtown fire station dedicated

More than forty years after a fire that destroyed the iconic Arlington / Tetley Hotel, the northwest corner of University and Lime is again occupied following the dedication of Riverside’s new Downtown Fire Station. Built at a cost of $12 million as part of the Riverside Renaissance capital improvement program, the station’s opening was delayed by more than a year…

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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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