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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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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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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Updates, new stores coming to Riverside Plaza

Updates, new stores coming to Riverside Plaza

(UPDATE, Aug. 27: Thanks to commenter Matthew, we’ve added new images showing the exterior changes being made to the former Harris’ building. Note the designs, however, have changed somewhat from what is depicted within the images — namely, the reversing of the exterior escalator.) Construction has been underway for the past several months retrofitting the former Harris’/Gottschalks/Forever 21 department store…

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Small boutiques add flavor to downtown pedestrian mall

Small boutiques add flavor to downtown pedestrian mall

One of the charms of downtown Riverside is the handful of small, one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, bars and eateries, most of which are located on or near the Main Street pedestrian mall. Two such clothing boutiques — The Parrott and Toni Moore — were spotlighted this week by reporter Laurie Lucas of The Press-Enterprise. Owned by Terry Elliott and Toni Moore…

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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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Forever 21 closes Riverside Plaza store

Forever 21 closes Riverside Plaza store

As expected, clothing retailer Forever 21 closed its Riverside Plaza location this past weekend, leaving the Plaza’s largest building vacant. F21 opened at the Plaza in August 2009 replacing Gottschalks, which closed a month earlier as that chain ceased operations. The building dates back to 1957 when constructed for San Bernardino-based Harris’, which remained in the building as Harris-Gottschalks following…

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Slate of eateries, bars and shops opening in downtown Riverside

Slate of eateries, bars and shops opening in downtown Riverside

Several new additions to the downtown Riverside entertainment and shopping mix have recently opened (or are readying to open), adding to the area’s already decent collection of eateries, bars and shops. Already open — 9th Street Italian Deli (Ninth & Market), Pixels Bar (near University & Lemon), and Beyond the Olive, which is inside the recently opened Aurea Vista: A…

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Inside the long-shuttered doors of 3750 Main Street

Inside the long-shuttered doors of 3750 Main Street

What does one find upon entering a building that’s been out of public use for much of the past 40 years? A few weeks back, we were lucky enough to find out as we ventured along with fellow Old Riverside Foundation members into the long-shuttered Franzen / Westbrook’s / Imperial hardware building at 3750 Main Street. Allowing us access and…

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