Second phase of pedestrian mall makeover begins

Work began recently on the final phase of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall renovation in downtown Riverside, continuing the first complete refurbishment of the outdoor mall since its 1966* opening.

Phase two
University block

Phase two
Mission Inn block

The first phase, which wrapped up in the fall, revamped the two blocks (one | two) located between Tenth Street and University Avenue. Also included was a partial reopening of Ninth Street through the mall as well as sidewalk and street improvements on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.
The current phase encompasses the two blocks between University Avenue and Sixth Street. Crews began removing some trees (one | two) and tearing up the walkway for necessary utility upgrades. Unfortunately, a Corona-based contractor also heavily damaged the 100-year-old “Seth Thomasclock (photo of damaged clock here). Elite Bobcat Service has agreed to pay for the repairs. We only hope such repairs can be done. At the very least, the city should ensure an equally historic replacement is found.
As previously stated, we’re a bit unsure how the redo will look in the areas adjacent to the historic Mission Inn, but we do like what we’ve seen completed thus far. In particular, the look against the backdrop of City Hall is indeed complimentary.
Overall, we like the added decorative touches (one | two). However, we do feel the “folding chair” look of the wall seats is a bit odd (no doubt, partly influenced by anti-skateboard measures). But the adjacent electrical outlets — handy when using laptops on the Wi-Fi enabled mall — help make up for the somewhat strange seats.
Our only real complaint is the new look has caused the mall to lose a bit of character. Although the new lights aren’t terrible, we’re sad to see the unique raincross lamps gone.
The $10 million project is expected to wrap up this summer.
Photo Gallery: Main Street Pedestrian Mall



* Photo courtesy of Ruhnau, Ruhnau, Clarke
Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise

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