Initial conceptual plans for exterior of downtown library

Initial conceptual plans for exterior of downtown library

On the heels of March’s initial “information gathering” meetings with the public and library/civic stakeholders, Riverside began conducting followup public meetings late last week on the proposed renovation of the downtown Main Library. As such, the city has released four early conceptual drawings of the proposed exterior makeover, which the city is currently asking for public comment on. Two public…

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Sharing a bit of library love

Sharing a bit of library love

Definitely one of Riverside’s best mid-century buildings — and certainly its most under-appreciated — the downtown Main Library (a.k.a. Central Library) has spent most of its time suffering from harsh criticism. In the past few years, however, there has been growing support for the library’s mid-century designs. Most of this support has tended to come from those that know only…

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Latest plans for downtown library: renovation, not demolition

Latest plans for downtown library: renovation, not demolition

After several recent attempts, Riverside officials have now scrapped expensive plans to construct a new downtown library in favor of a more modest renovation of the existing building. We realize this new directive from the city council may not serve all interests and parties involved, and we do agree a modest renovation/refurbishment is warranted. However, we also admit we’re glad…

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Out & About – Historic walking tours of downtown Riverside

Out & About – Historic walking tours of downtown Riverside

From the eclectic Mission Inn and magnificent County Courthouse to the modern City Hall and mid-century public library, downtown Riverside is rich in architectural history and variety. Fortunately, many of these gems are within walking distance down a few adjoining streets. As such, we’ve created a few short circular, self-guided tours — Mission Inn Avenue, University Avenue and Main Street….

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Relocated Marcy Branch Library opens

Relocated Marcy Branch Library opens

After about three years of planning, renovation and moving, Riverside’s Marcy Branch Library has reopened. The new location, near the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington avenues, is about 1 mile from its former spot on Central Avenue near the Riverside Plaza. The relocated Marcy Branch occupies the bottom floor of an 18,000 sq. ft., two-story building on Magnolia Avenue (with…

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Inland Southern California’s mid-century architecture

Inland Southern California’s mid-century architecture

A recent trip to Palm Springs reminded us of that city’s sizable collection of mid-century modern architecture, including the former Coachella Valley Savings & Loan building pictured above. Designed by E. Stewart Williams, the building is an excellent example of modern bank design from the 1960s. We’ll explore some of these desert gems at a later date. But the two-day…

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Committee finalizes expansion guidelines

Committee finalizes expansion guidelines

After several months of public meetings, the 22-member Library/Museum task force held its final session this past week, producing what it calls “guiding principles” for the planned expansions of downtown’s Central Library and Riverside Metropolitan Museum. The key recommendation calls for separate expansions of both facilities, with enough space for each to meet their needs. As part of the recommendation,…

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Out & About – 06/15/2008

Out & About – 06/15/2008

The past two weekends saw us at opposite ends of Riverside. Last weekend, we had the chance to take in the reopened Arlington Branch Library. While there, we took a few photos of the nearby Arlington Village commercial area. This weekend, we spent some time downtown checking in on the refurbishing of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall. About 5 miles…

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Task force favors separate library, museum expansions

Task force favors separate library, museum expansions

A City Council-appointed task force assigned with revising Riverside’s library-museum expansion plans issued its draft recommendation this week calling for separate expansions for both institutions. The recommendation, which would reverse the city’s earlier combined expansion proposal, comes after several recent public meetings on the issue. Most critics of the original $25 million proposal — part of the city’s Riverside Renaissance…

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Arlington Branch Library reopens

Arlington Branch Library reopens

After nearly 2 years of construction and renovation, Riverside’s Arlington Branch Library reopened to the public this past week following an 8,000 sq. ft. addition to the 99-year-old building. The new wing nearly triples the size of the current library to 13,000 sq. ft. The new addition mimics the original building’s Greek Revival styling, which was designed by local architect…

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