modern

Riverside Auto Center nearing 50 years

Riverside Auto Center nearing 50 years

Billed as the “World’s First Auto Center,” the 1965 opening of the Riverside Auto Center transformed the car-buying landscape in America, if not the world. What began in the late 1950s as a bold vision among three local car dealers – George Reade Sr. (Chevrolet), Charles W. “Bud” Dutton Sr. (Cadillac/Oldsmobile), and Julian Adrian “Red”…

Gallery: Riverside — Pedestrian Mall: 1966-2008
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Gallery: Riverside — Pedestrian Mall: 1966-2008

Following the 1957 opening of the Riverside Plaza mall, downtown shopping began a slow but steady decline. In response, city leaders quickly began working at remaking the city’s civic center. Discussions took place regarding additional parking, modernized storefronts, and streetscape improvements. In June 1958, Los Angeles architectural firm Welton Beckett & Associates presented a downtown…

Nordstrom Rack set to open at Riverside Plaza
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Nordstrom Rack set to open at Riverside Plaza

Six months after being announced, the Riverside Plaza store of Nordstrom Rack is nearing its April 3rd opening date. The sibling of the high-end retailer will take up residence within a portion of the former Harris/Gottschalks/Forever 21 building, taking up a reported 45,000 sq. ft. on the ground level. The 3-story building underwent an extensive…

Riverside’s California Tower turns 40
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Riverside’s California Tower turns 40

Just over 40 years ago, in April 1973, the first of three modern, mid-rise office buildings opened along Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall, ushering in a new era of mixed uses and densities along Main Street. Like many American downtowns of the era, downtown Riverside’s retail component continued declining during the 1960s, due in part to…

Downtown fire station dedicated
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Downtown fire station dedicated

Almost exactly forty years after a fire that destroyed the iconic Arlington / Tetley / Riverside hotel, the northwest corner of University and Lime is again occupied following the dedication of Riverside’s new Downtown Fire Station. Built at a cost of $12 million as part of the Riverside Renaissance capital improvement program, the station’s opening…

Through the years with Sears in Riverside
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Through the years with Sears in Riverside

For nearly 85 years, national retail giant Sears has operated a “brick & mortar” store at three different locations in Riverside, with almost 50 of those years spent at its current Arlington Avenue location. However, the first two Sears stores were both located downtown, with the original store opening in February 1929 on the northwest…

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Gallery: Riverside — Downtown Buildings

Downtown Riverside’s first modern mid-rise — the eight-story Crocker-Citizens Bank building — opened in 1965. Since then, several more office buildings have popped up, adding to the city’s modest, but growing skyline. Some of these include Mount Rubidoux Manor (@1971), Security Pacific Bank (California Tower) (1973), County Admin Building (1975/2002), City Hall (1975), Riverside Centre…

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Gallery: Riverside — Historic County Courthouse

Designed by Franklin P. Burnham of the Los Angeles architectural firm of Burnham and Bliesner, the cost of constructing the Beaux Arts styled courthouse was $160,000. Construction began on May 7, 1903 and was completed June 23, 1904. In 1995, the courthouse underwent a 3-year, $25 million renovation and seismic upgrade. The building’s ornate facade…

Initial conceptual plans for exterior of downtown library

On the heels of March’s initial “information gathering” meetings with the public and library/civic stakeholders, Riverside began conducting followup public meetings late last week on the proposed renovation of the downtown Main Library. As such, the city has released four early conceptual drawings of the proposed exterior makeover, which the city is currently asking for…