Postcard: Downtown civic buildings

Late 1950s
Top: Carnegie Library and Riverside County Courthouse
Bottom: Municipal Auditorium and U.S. Post Office

We thought we’d start the new year off with an old postcard showing a few of downtown Riverside’s civic buildings.
Dating from the late 1950s / early 1960s, the images show the 1903 Carnegie Library, the 1903 Riverside County Courthouse, the 1927 Municipal Auditorium, and the 1939 U.S. Post Office. Three of the four buildings remain standing today (the Carnegie Library met the wrecking ball in 1964).
At least one of the photos (and maybe all) were taken by Max Mahon, whose images of downtown Riverside from that era have been used on several postcards distributed by Columbia Wholesale Supply.
Mailed from Riverside in December 1962, the personal note on the back of the postcard indicates it was sent to a locale of cold and bitter weather, which reminds us how lucky we are to reside in sunny Southern California (especially during those mild January days of 76 degrees and bright blue skies we often have):

Glad to hear you (have?) (gone?) into the house. Weather out here is nice and cool but no 12 (degrees) below thank goodness. Hope you are feeling fine and have a nice Christmas.

In the coming year, we’re planning to continue our efforts at spotlighting Riverside’s history, with more postcards, images and tidbits from the past. In particular, we’re hoping to gather more from the post-World War II era of Riverside (which are surprisingly difficult to track down). So if you have suggestions — and even better, images — be sure to send them to us!
Postcard courtesy of Columbia Wholesale Supply, North Hollywood, California
Sources: “Riverside – 1870-1940” (Steve Lech)

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  1. In 1959 there was an auto show on the downtown riverside mall. I remember it as if it were a week ago. I remember that there was a Pontiac dealership in the near vicinity. They had what was termed cars of the future. Does anyone have information on that event?

  2. @Gwen — We do not have any info on that particular event. But before the Riverside Auto Center off Adams and Indiana avenues opened in 1965, indeed, the city’s car dealers were primarily located on Market Street between Seventh (Mission Inn Avenue) and First streets. The Riverside dealerships seemed to be a tight-knit group (as evidence by their grouping together to establish the aforementioned “auto center” — the first of its kind in America). As such, it’s more than likely they did in fact hold regular street events to showcase new cars. However, the downtown pedestrian mall did not replace Main Street until 1966. Maybe you meant Main Street? Or possibly even Market Street? Do you have any other info or recollections?

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