Then & Now – San Bernardino’s ‘E’ Street

One of the things we find fascinating 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. Sometimes the transformation takes several years, while in other cases the landscape changes rather quickly.

Click the image below for two views of “E” Street in downtown San Bernardino, first from the 1940s and next from 2007.

Circa 1940s - 'E' Street, downtown San Bernardino
Circa 1940s – ‘E’ Street, downtown San Bernardino
Flash: View photo overlay

Both views are looking north toward the intersection with 3rd Street (note: the 1940s postcard incorrectly states the view as being from 3rd Street as opposed to being toward 3rd Street).

On the immediate left is the Harris Co. department store, with its decorative elements, while just beyond it is the Andresen Building, which was the former home to Bank of America. As seen in the 2007 view, both structures remain standing today, though the Harris Co. building is currently closed.

On the right, the scene has changed dramatically. Civic Plaza — which encompasses City Hall, Exhibit Hall and the Clarion Hotel — has replaced the buildings on the immediate right, including the one-time branch of Citizens’ National Bank (foreground) and the four-story, 1890 Katz Building (background).

With the redevelopment of Carousel Mall — of which the Harris Co. building anchors its eastern end — becoming much more probable, the immediate area is likely to change dramatically once again.

Flash: ‘E’ at Third: 1940s – 2007


Sources: City of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Sun

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  1. I grew up in San Bernardino and now live in Honolulu Hawaii and I say that San Bernardino should REALLY be remodeled like Honolulu!

    There is a street called Ala Moana Blvd. a main street similar to E Street outside the main mall. It is a beautiful drive, with lots of greenery and upscale and casual shops.

    Let’s make the San Bernardino that it once was — a thriving shopping community, NO MORE PUBLIC HOUSING!!!! SB has enough already, no wonder the town has become so dull and folks like me left it, there is too many housing with no incoming economy to speak of.

    You should really hire a consultant from Honolulu, NOT Florida because right now Honolulu is booming.

    *missing the old San Berdoo*


  2. Kelley, if only it were that easy! Seriously, few places can match the natural beauty of Honolulu and Hawaii in general. However, there are indeed things that can be done in San Bernardino to change — as you put it — the “dull” atmosphere.

    First and foremost, it takes vision. Second, it takes residents, officials and developers alike to both shape and accept the vision. Third, it takes courage to pursue the vision, even in the face of adversity (and as it changes and/or adapts to local conditions). Fourth, it requires persistence, usually stretching over many years.

    Yet these are all delicate and tricky aspects, many of which cannot be fully controlled, but certainly can be guided. Fortunately, San Bernardino is at least beginning to take the necessary steps in “guiding” a makeover for its downtown.

  3. I lived in San Bernardino before the new city hall was built. I loved the plans for it, and now I love the building, as one of the pretties

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