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Then & Now – Main at Ninth

One of the things that most facinates us are how places and/or buildings change — or don’t change — over time. Sometimes it’s a simple paint job on an old house or building while at other times an entire building — or entire block — is completely redeveloped. Such is the natural evolution of cities.

With that said, one of our favorite sections of this site is the “Then & Now” feature. A simple exercise in comparing and contrasting the same building, street or block from one time period to another. Maybe it’s a 100-year-old photo or 50-year-old postcard, or simply a few years of passage. Whatever the timespan, it’s interesting to see how much — or how little — things have changed from one era to another.

1949-2006 - Main at Ninth

First up, is a view looking north on Main Street at Ninth Street from 1949. Immediately on the right is Rouse’s Department Store (green canopy) followed by the Kress Building (partially covered by palm tree). Standing tall is the 1911 First National Bank building. Beyond these is the now-gone Evans Building (red brick) and in the distance are two towers of the Mission Inn. Visible on the left is the top of the still-standing Loring Building (red, triangular-shaped roof) located at the corner of Seventh Street (Mission Inn Avenue) and Main Street.

The exact same view from 2006 shows that, first and foremost, Main Street has been removed, or rather, turned into the Main Street Pedestrian Mall (1966). Although the Rouse (UCR/Culver Arts Center), Kress (UCR/CMP) and First National Bank buildings remain standing on the right, all the buildings on the left have since been replaced by office buildings (partially hidden). Of course, foliage now also blocks the view of the two Mission Inn towers. However, peeking out between the trees on the lower left is the triangular-shaped roof of the Loring Building.

Lastly, directly behind the camera sits City Hall (1975), which was built to anchor the south end of the pedestrian mall.

Flash: Main at Ninth: 1949 – 2006

Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library

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