Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Day116 Weber House (Circa. 1932-1938)

Riverside Historical Society

Riverside Historical Society

Peter J. Weber was chief designer for the architectural firm of G. Stanley Wilson. Ma. Weber applied his talents to the International rotunda at the Mission Inn, Redlands Post Office, and many other Wilson projects.

After a visit to North Africa, Weber began building his own house. Influenced by his travels, the Weber house is a unique blend of Moorish, Craftsman, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco styles.

Notable not only for its unique design, the Weber house features extraordinary handcrafted design details. Extensive interior woodwork is hand-carved and/or decoratively painted. Most ceilings are of pine planks, some carved and painted. All hinges are of wrought-iron and all doors and cabinets have decorative nail heads.

Ma. Weber installed a still operating solar water heater in 1935 with collector panels made of automobile windshields. All of the exterior brick was used and the broken tile which makes up the incredible bathroom mosaic was also recycled. Exterior woodwork was oiled and stained with used crankcase oil. Basement areas help to keep the house cool in the summer.

An early tower which would have unified the bedroom and bathroom with the living room, kitchen, and garage was designed but never built.

The nine acres of orange groves which originally surrounded the Weber house are now home to two modern hotels. Owners of the (then) Days Inn Hotel began a restoration of the house which is now being completed by the Old Riverside Foundation.

The Weber house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized locally as City Landmark #52.

(Courtesy Old Riverside Foundation)

Day113 You Meet the Nicest People…

Plum Evil

Plum Evil

I have always been a huge fan of the ole classic cars.

I am also lucky enough that many of my business clients turn out to be long time close friends.

I have a 1938 Ford Pick-Up that is taking a lot longer than anticipated to finish (isn’t that the case with most car projects?)

With a little help (or a lot) from Alan and Johnson’s Rods & Customs, my little beast should one day be back on the road.

Sow what does it have to do with this photo?

Johnson’s also happens to be quite the hang out for the gang from “Old Farts Racing”, a Riverside staple!
This is one of the awesome cars that happened to be there today, and just one of the many beautiful classic cars running around the city.

And if one day this truck makes it to the street, wave and say hello, it is only me!

Kidder Concept Truck

Kidder Concept Truck

 

Day112 Heritage

Riverside Heritage

Riverside Heritage

Riverside’s Heritage runs deep!

Back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, Riverside’s population had the highest income per capita in the United States.

Citrus “plantation” homes, similar to this sprung up all around the region.

Today, many of these homes still exist, often times oddly found amongst the ocean of tract homes that surround them.

Day111 Universal Unitarian Church

Universal Unitarian Church

Universal Unitarian Church

Originally All Souls Church (est 1881), the Universalist church was dedicated in June, 1892.

It is a combination of Norman and English Gothic architecture designed by A.C.  Willard.  The walls are of brick faced with red sandstone from a quarry in Flagstaff, Arizona.  In the vestibule of the 50ft tower, the floor is of marble from a quarry in Colton. All windows are original.

The focal point of this room is a large triple window on the north wall.
The center section honors Dr. George Henry Deere, who with his wife Louisa, arrived in Riverside July 1881 to found this Universalist congregation-The first in Southern California.

In 1891 the Deeres went East to raise money for the building of the chruch.  In Chicago, they visited the Sebiling Wells Glass Co.  From several designs presented to them, they chose various parts to create this human figure of Jesus in a window free of religious symbols.

Universalists viewed Jesus as the Master Teacher rather than as the divine Son of God.  (courtesy Universalist Unitarian Church)

Day110 Gage Canal

Gage Canal

Gage Canal

Without Matthew Gage, there would be no Gage Canal.

Without the Gage Canal, Riverside’s citrus industry would not have flourished, and the city would not have prospered the way it did around the turn of the 20th century.

And without that prosperity, people would probably not still be arguing about the water coursing down the 130-year-old canal.

That the canal exists at all is notable. Gage, a jeweler who emigrated from Canada, had no background in water or engineering. And he had no money. Under a federal program at the time, he filed for claim on 640 acres of land, promising he could deliver water to irrigate the tract within three years.

Gage was sure he could bring water to the area along the base of the hills to the southeast of downtown. Although it seems counterintuitive, the water would come from the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino and flow downhill through what is now Grand Terrace and the Highgrove area into Riverside.

Through a series of clever cuts and minor tunnels in the hillsides between Loma Linda and Grand Terrace, the gravity-fed canal continued through the western edge of the current UC Riverside campus to its end between Harrison and McAllister streets, 20.13 miles from its origin.

It wasn’t long before citrus groves blanketed its route. Many of those groves are now gone. But the water is still flowing in the canal, feeding the remaining acres of citrus as well as commercial nurseries and the gardens of homes along its course. The land is part of Riverside’s greenbelt.

The canal is also a magnet for recreation. Joggers and cyclists regularly use the dirt paths along its edge. Old-timers tell stories of floating down the waterway during hot summer days long ago.

And while the open part of the canal between Arlington Avenue and its terminus is usually full of water, that water does not come from the original wells at the Santa Ana River. Those wells are still active, but their water is tapped for use by the Riverside Public Utilities.
(Courtesy The Press Enterprise Tuesday, July 29, 2008)

Day110 Ames-Westbrook House

Ames-Westbrook House

Ames-Westbrook House

Samuel A. Ames was the first owner of this Queen Anne Style House. Born in Boston in 1832, Mr. Ames worked as a pony express rider in the southwest before coming to Riverside in 1873 and prospering in citriculture.

Dr. Edward H. Wood purchased the home in 1909. In 1920, He subdivided the adjacent land into the Homewood Court and Elmwood Court tracts and began the well-known “Wood Streets” naming sequence.

Day109 Arlington Library

Arlington Library

Arlington Library

Today’s photo comes from a request.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places since July 22, 1993

Day106 Riverside’s Beginnings

Parent Navel Orange Tree

Parent Navel Orange Tree

The Navel Orange is solely responsible for the existence of Riverside and its prosperous younger years.

Now at 137 years old, the parent navel orange, which started it all, is still healthy and bearing fruit.

The tree’s history can be traced from Bahia state, Brazil. The first introduction of the navel orange bud-wood to the United States probably occurred during the end of the 19th century. It was taken from Bahia to Washington, D.C., by boat in 1871. It was then transported by rail, stage coach, and finally by wagon to the home of Luther and Eliza Tibbets in the newly formed settlement of Riverside.

The tree became popular in California because its fruits were large, sweet and seedless — distinguishing them from the small and seedy fruit on the seedling trees then present in California. The Navel Orange Tree became influential in the development of numerous new cities, fruit packing houses, boxing machines, fruit wraps and the iced railroad car.

The magnificent tree is considered to be the most important plant introduction ever made into the United States, and all Washington navel orange trees throughout the world are possibly descended from it.

Day100 The Tank at Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park Tank

Fairmount Park Tank

So why is there a tank at Fairmount Park anyway?

The tank is a memorial to the workers and soldiers that built and operated the amphibious tank LVT-(A)-1 in WWII.

For those unaware, these tanks were actually built right here in Riverside….

Day99 Riverside Art Museum

Riverside Art Museum

Riverside Art Museum

The historic structure which houses the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) was built by the renowned architect Julia Morgan as Riverside’s original YWCA.

The Riverside YWCA was organized in 1906, but it was not until 1929, after years of developing membership, financial security, and considering three different sites that a location for Riverside’s first YWCA building was chosen. Selecting the corner of 7th (now Mission Inn Avenue) and Lime Streets, the directors of YWCA hired Morgan to draw formal plans for their new building. Pressure mounted from local business leaders, including Mission Inn owner Frank Miller. Miller’s preference was to hire an architect who would design in a similar style to that of the Mission Inn and Riverside’s Municipal Auditorium, both buildings in close proximity to the new YWCA site. However, the YWCA Directors held firm in their determination to have a place for women designed by a woman, and Morgan was ultimately hired. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on January 27, 1929. The building, based on Mediterranean and Classical architectural design elements, mingles beautifully, even now, with the Mission Revival and Spanish Revival styles of the Mission Inn and Municipal Auditorium.

The Riverside Art Museum

In the early 1950s, a loosely knit group of artists formed the Riverside Art Association to encourage the study and appreciation of the arts. Their first home, the Riverside Art Center, was a recently abandoned Municipal Dog Pound which City of Riverside officials leased to the Art Association for $1 a year.

By 1960, the growing Association clearly needed more space for its studio classes and numerous exhibitions. When Morgan’s YWCA building became available for sale, the Riverside Art Center purchased the building for $250,000. A successful fund drive followed and on July 5, 1967, YWCA officials formally turned over Morgan’s building to the Riverside Art Center. The transition from a YWCA building to the existing art museum was soon underway.

In 1982, Morgan’s building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Riverside.

The Riverside YWCA was organized in 1906, but it was not until 1929, after years of developing membership, financial security, and considering three different sites that a location for Riverside’s first YWCA building was chosen. Selecting the corner of 7th (now Mission Inn Avenue) and Lime Streets, the directors of YWCA hired Morgan to draw formal plans for their new building. Pressure mounted from local business leaders, including Mission Inn owner Frank Miller. Miller’s preference was to hire an architect who would design in a similar style to that of the Mission Inn and Riverside’s Municipal Auditorium, both buildings in close proximity to the new YWCA site. However, the YWCA Directors held firm in their determination to have a place for women designed by a woman, and Morgan was ultimately hired. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on January 27, 1929. The building, based on Mediterranean and Classical architectural design elements, mingles beautifully, even now, with the Mission Revival and Spanish Revival styles of the Mission Inn and Municipal Auditorium.