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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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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3333 Arlington Avenue – Gemco / Target

3333 Arlington Avenue – Gemco / Target

Currently undergoing an extensive remodel, 3333 Arlington Avenue is one of three Riverside locations for retail giant Target. City permits indicate the building was originally built in 1970 for Gemco membership department stores. The value for the original 99,200 square-foot building was listed as $950,000. The architect was listed as Maxwell & Starkman Associates and the contractor as Ernest W….

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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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3521 Central Avenue – Jack in the Box

March 20113521 Central Avenue, Riverside 20103521 Central Avenue(Google Maps) 1951Jack in the Box, San Diego(Jack in the Box, Inc.) 1950sJack in the Box, Mark I(ModernSanDiego.com) 1960sJack in the Box, Mark II(ModernSanDiego.com) 1960sJack in the Box, Mark III(ModernSanDiego.com) March 20113521 Central Avenue Dating from the late 1960s, one of the oldest Jack in the Box fast food restaurants in Riverside is…

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William Lee Gates – 3770 Elizabeth Street

R.P. Small Building3770 Elizabeth Street, Riverside(William Lee Gates) Tucked away on a side street off Magnolia Avenue near the Riverside Plaza is the R.P. Small Building, a stylish, mid-century modern building designed by local Riverside architect William Lee Gates. City permits from 1956 show Russell E. Walling as the contractor with an estimated value of $40,000. A quick web search…

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University Avenue: TraveLodge

As mentioned before, Eighth Street — now University Avenue — in Riverside’s eastside was once the city’s “motel row.” In many ways, with several motels, hotels and eateries remaining, it still serves that purpose today. One of the earliest major chain motels to pop up on the stretch between downtown and UC Riverside was the Riverside TraveLodge. Located at 1911…

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University Avenue: Riverside’s “motel row”

1950sTown & Country 1960sSage & Sand 1960sCaravan Inn 2010Courtyard by Marriott Prior to the building of the 60 Freeway through Riverside in the early 1960s, the main highway heading into downtown from the east was Eighth Street. Visitors traveling between Palm Springs and Los Angeles could grab some rest at any one of the half-dozen or so small, roadside motels…

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Pecuiliar post-war commercial add-ons

Scattered around downtown Riverside one will find a few remaining commercial “add-on” oddities from the post-war years. Here are two of the more obvious ones we’ve noticed. 2010Tenth Street First up is this house located on Tenth Street. We’re not sure of the original home’s date, but city permits show an addition valued at approximately $5,000 was built around 1947….

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