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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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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Through the years with Sears in Riverside

Through the years with Sears in Riverside

For nearly 85 years, national retail giant Sears has operated a “brick & mortar” store at three different locations in Riverside, with almost 50 of those years spent at its current Arlington Avenue location. However, the first two Sears stores were both located downtown, with the original store opening in February 1929 on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main…

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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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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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Gallery: Riverside — University of California (UCR)

Gallery: Riverside — University of California (UCR)

Established by the University of California in 1907 at the base of Mount Rubidoux as the Citrus Experiment Station, the present day campus for UC Riverside began with the building of a new Citrus Station in 1917 about 5 miles to the east (at the base of Box Springs Mountain). In 1948, planning began to expand the CES into a…

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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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