Archive for the ‘Symbols’ Category
By 1900, Riverside had become one of the premiere winter resort communities in the nation. Engulfed in twenty thousand acres of Washington Navel orange groves, Riverside served as a center for agricultural innovation, bringing the revolution of corporate capitalism to the southwestern U.S. via the modern citrus enterprise.
Located in the broad, inland valley of the Santa Ana River in Southern California, Riverside numbered among the wealthiest communities per capita in the nation. The University of California Citrus Experiment Station (core of the present University of California, Riverside) brought a tradition of ground-breaking scientific research to the city. Riverside’s renowned Mission Inn hotel, and its inspirational role in the development of the Arts & Craft Style, attracted some of America’s foremost entrepreneurs in search of new recreational, aesthetic and business opportunities. Riverside became a magnet for prosperous, educated practitioners of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the West. in the nation.
Out of this context came the Cornelius Earle Rumsey Indian Collection which later became the Riverside Municipal Museum now known as the Riverside Metropolitan Museum (RMM). The Museum opened in the basement of City Hall on December 12, 1924, when the widow of National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) magnate Cornelius Earle Rumsey donated his collection of Native American artifacts to the City of Riverside. An ordinance, amending the City Charter and establishing a Municipal Museum, was adopted by the City Council on August 27, 1925. The current mission statement found in the city ordinance states that, “All collections and exhibits of the Museum shall generally reflect but shall not necessarily be limited to the specific interpretations of the history, natural history and anthropology of the City and County of Riverside and the immediate environs of southern California.” From 1924 on, the collections have grown, typically through donations by prominent citizens and organizations, contributing to RMM holdings in the disciplines of local history, natural history, and anthropology. From 1925-48, the RMM was located in the basement of the old City Hall building on Riverside’s Seventh Street (now Mission Inn Avenue).
In 1987, the main museum building and Heritage House were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005, the Riverside Municipal Museum changed its name to Riverside Metropolitan Museum.
New Home of the Riverside Municipal Museum, 1948
In 1948, the Museum was moved to the basement of the former U. S. Post Office, adjacent to the old City Hall, a Renaissance Revival-style structure, built in 1912-14. The main exhibits, administration offices, anthropology, natural history curatorial offices, collections storage, and registrar’s office carried on their activities in this building. The history curatorial office/collections and exhibits services eventually moved to an annex, a converted Safeway Supermarket, located four blocks from the main building.
Established in 1883 with private donations of land
and labor, this park formerly reflected the Victorian
philosophy of eclectic and exotic landscaping in public
outdoor spaces. Named for Albert W. White, a city
trustee and private citizen, the park was deeded to the
city in 1889. .around 1875.
Trivia note:Albert “Stoney” White was the ‘first border’ at the Mission Inn.
Today, White Park houses a senior center, cactus garden, butterfly garden, and a Japanese Garden (see below).
Throughout the year, the park is host to a number of events ranging from the Mayor’s Ball (A fundraising event for the city’s art community) to live music, carnivals, and community events.
How could I forget this old “Der” Wienerschnitzel building?
Though I am not much of the hot dog person, my sister used to love this place growing up.
For some strange reason, this iconic style building seems to be a thing of the past
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)
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.
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….
Another view of Riverside, from the top of Mt. Rubidoux.
Today I had a friend come to visit.
Though they have been in Riverside for a while, they had never been to the top of Mt. Rubidoux, so that was the goal for the day.
Even to this day, the view from the top amazes me, especially considering its height.
Another icon of Riverside (though surprisingly, not many in the city are even aware of why our buses look like trolley cars).Though most people think of San Francisco at the thought of the trolley, Riverside was in fast the first city to have trolleys in the United States.
The lines ran through the town on what is today Magnolia Avenue.
The Trolley buses are a tribute to that past.
Riverside has also held the monikers of:
City of Trees: Due to the start of the naval oranges here
City of Firsts: First Palm lined streets, trolley, and others
City of Arts & Culture: I think that is a more “wish we were” type of title.
and Great American City: Pretty sure the smog levels have nothing to do with this title.
If any particular street in Riverside has a history to it, this would be the one!
Anyone who has lived in Riverside for even a short period of time is familiar with Victoria Ave.
Many stories surround this street, all centered around the history of the city, history of the country, and solidifying Riverside as the “City of Firsts”.
It is said that this is the street which started the typical California image of Palm lined streets.
I have also heard that is is part of the first road which connected Canada and Mexico.
Victoria Ave. dates back to the days preceding the automobile and has played host to the travels of many dignitaries and presidents on their ventures (and visits) through the area.
Countless volunteers collect throughout the year to maintain the miles of roses, trees, and vegetation that provide to the beauty of this road.
Victoria Ave. is also home to several Mexican Folklore….