Riverside, California

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Riverside, California
Skyline of Riverside, California
Official flag of Riverside, California
Official seal of Riverside, California
Nickname: The City of Trees
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
Coordinates: 33°56′53.03″N, 117°23′46.06″W
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
 - Mayor Ron Loveridge
 - City  78.4 sq mi (203.0 km² km²)
 - Land  78.1 sq mi (91.0 km²)
 - Water  0.3 sq mi (0.3 km²)
Elevation  817 ft (816 m)
Population (2005)
 - City 294,059
 - Density 3,908/sq mi (1,503/km²)
 - Metro 17,629,607
  Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside CSA
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Website: http://www.riversideca.gov/

Riverside is the county seat of Riverside County, California, United States and is also a focus city of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city is named for the nearby Santa Ana River. As of 2006, Riverside had an estimated population of 305,255.[1] In 2005, Riverside was the largest city in the Inland Empire region, the 62nd-largest city in the United States, and part of the 13th-largest metropolitan area in the nation.


[edit] Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 203.0 km² (78.4 mi²). 202.3 km² (78.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.7 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.36% water.

[edit] Demographics

As of the census of 2005, there were:

  • 294,059 people (305,255 per 2006 estimates)[1]
  • 98,016 households, of which 93,405 were occupied
  • 66,317 families residing in the city.

The racial makeup of the city was:

There were 93,405 occupied households out of which 44.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.0% were non-families, 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone 65 or older. The average household size was 3.15 and average family size 3.70.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000,

The population density was 1,261.5/km² (3,267.2/mi²). There were 85,974 housing units at an average density of 425.0/km² (1,100.8/mi²).

In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,646, and the median income for a family was $47,254. Males had a median income of $36,920 versus $28,328 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,882. About 11.7% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] History

Riverside, 1876.
Riverside, 1876.

Riverside's downtown area includes the "Mission Inn District", after the Mission Inn, a hotel that was modeled after the missions left along the California coast by Franciscan friars in the 18th century. Although missionaries of the era actually came as far inland as Loma Linda (the Assistencia to the Mission San Gabriel), east of Riverside, there was no actual Spanish mission in what is now Riverside. After secularization of the missions, the land was designated Rancho Jurupa and was granted to Juan Bandini, who later divided the rancho into two parts and sold them to two Yankees-turned-ranchéros, Benjamin D. "Benito" Wilson and Abel Stearns.

The city was founded in the early 1870s beside the Santa Ana River by John W. North, a staunch temperance-minded abolitionist from Tennessee, who had previously founded Northfield, Minnesota. A few years after, the navel orange was planted and found to be such a success that full-scale planting started. Riverside was temperance minded (few saloons if any were allowed in Riverside proper), and Republican. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens. As a result, the first golf course and polo field in Southern California were built in Riverside.

Riverside, 1900.
Riverside, 1900.

The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry Riverside is famous for began two years later when Eliza Tibbets received two Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a friend at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly. Within a few years, the successful cultivation of the newly discovered navel orange led to a California Gold Rush of a different kind: the establishment of the citrus industry, which is commemorated in the landscapes and exhibits of the California Citrus State Historic Park and the restored packing houses in the Downtown's Marketplace district. By 1882, there were more than half a million citrus trees in California, almost half of which were in Riverside. The development of refrigerated railroad cars and innovative irrigation systems established Riverside as the wealthiest city per capita by 1895.

Riverside, 2004.
Riverside, 2004.

As the city prospered, a small guest hotel designed in the popular Mission Revival style, known as the Glenwood Tavern, eventually grew to become the world famous Mission Inn, favored by presidents, royalty and movie stars. Inside was housed a special chair made for the sizeable President Taft. Postcards of lush orange groves, swimming pools and magnificent homes have attracted vacationers and entrepreneurs throughout the years. Many relocated to the warm, dry climate for reasons of health and to escape Eastern winters. Victoria Avenue with its landmark homes serves as a reminder of European investors who settled here.

In 1915 a Japanese immigrant named Jukichi Harada, proprietor for many years of a local restaurant, purchased a home in Riverside in the names of his American-born children in order to provide access for them to the public school system. Neighbors formed a committee and charged him with violating the California Alien Land Law of 1913, which barred aliens ineligible for citizenship from owning land. The case, The People of the State of California v. Jukichi Harada, became a test of the constitutionality of the law and progressed to the state Supreme Court, where the Haradas won. The Metropolitan Museum of Riverside now owns the house, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Some orange groves are giving way to development in modern Riverside, while others still exist and are thriving.
Some orange groves are giving way to development in modern Riverside, while others still exist and are thriving.

At the entrance to Riverside from the 60 freeway sits Fairmount Park. This extensive urban oasis was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Slightly fraying around the edges, it still has a lovely, stocked pond, and many species of birds. Nearby, on private land, is the former site of Spring Rancheria, a Cahuilla village.

Riverside used to boast one of the largest Chinatowns in California, but the last resident, Mr. Wong, died in the 1970s and the remaining (decrepit) buildings were razed. Extensive archaeological excavation took place in the 1980s, and many artifacts are housed at the (newly re-named) Metropolitan Museum across from the Mission Inn Hotel.

To the east of downtown is the originally named "Eastside" which grew out of a colonia inhabited by Mexican immigrant workers in the Orange groves. That tradition continues today, with Oaxacan workers in the place of Spanish speakers. Michael Kearney, an anthropologist at University of California, Riverside, refers to this vast transnational labor space as "Oaxacalifornia."

Settlements of Japanese and Korean immigrants used to exist along the railroad tracks, which would fill with thousands of workers during the citrus harvest. None of these remain, but the Santa Fe depot, like several others in the Inland Empire, has been restored to its turn-of-the-century glory. Today, most of Riverside's Asian Americans live in the sections of Arlington and La Sierra, the majority being Chinese American and Korean American.

At the intersection of Howard and 12th sits the last remnants of a formerly thriving African-American neighborhood. The old Wiley Grocery store now houses the activities of 'Black' Elks club members. Nearby is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a pilgrimage site complete with shrine. Built and destroyed three times, the current incarnation dates from the 1920s. And the Bobby Bonds recreation center named for the major league baseball legend.

One of Riverside's claims to fame was the Riverside International Raceway. It was open from 1957 to 1989.
One of Riverside's claims to fame was the Riverside International Raceway. It was open from 1957 to 1989.

Riverside was the original home of the Riverside International Raceway, which closed in 1989 to make way for a shopping mall. The raceway was included within the city limits of the city of Moreno Valley upon that city's incorporation in 1984.

Riverside had three minor league baseball teams, one in 1941 (Riverside Reds) and two of the class-A California League: the Riverside Red Wave from 1988–90 and the Riverside Pilots from 1993–95 at the Blaine Sports complex. Today, a semi-pro collegiate team, the Inland Empire Rockets play some home games in Riverside and Moreno Valley.

[edit] Features

Riverside is home to the University of California, Riverside. The UCR Botanic Gardens contains 40 acres (162,000 m²) of unusual plants, with four miles of walking trails. The city prides itself on its historic connection to the navel orange, which was introduced to North America from Brazil by the first settlers to Riverside in 1873. Riverside is home to the three surviving Parent Navel Orange Tree, from which all American West Coast navel orange trees are descended.

There are three hospitals in Riverside.[2]

  • Riverside Community Hospital is a General Acute Care Hospital with Basic Emergency Services and a Level II Trauma Center as of 2006.
  • Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center is a General Acute Care Hospital with Basic Emergency Services as of 2006.
  • Kaiser Foundation Hospital - Riverside is a General Acute Care Hospital with Basic Emergency Services as of 2006.

Riverside is also home to the Riverside Public Library.

[edit] Education

University of California, Riverside
University of California, Riverside

The city of Riverside is served by several institutions of higher learning:

The Univ. of Cal. Riverside has its basketball teams play their games at the Student Recreation Center located on its campus. It does not have a football team. The CSD-R varsity football team, the Riverside Bears, had an undefeated season which led to an appearance on a May 2006 segment on ABC's 20/20 news series.[citation needed]

Riverside has two notable institutions of learning for specified student bodies:

The following high schools in Riverside serve grades 9-12:

  • Arlington High School
  • John W. North High School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. High School
  • Polytechnic High School
  • Ramona High School
  • La Sierra High School
  • Norte Vista High School
  • Notre Dame High School (private)
  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Woodcrest Christian School (private)
  • Bethel Christian School (private)
  • Riverside Christian School (private)
  • La Sierra Academy (private)

[edit] Environment

The Riverside area is referred to as a "smog belt" because of its above-average level of air pollution. In a comparison by the National Campaign Against Dirty Air Power (2003), the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area was found to be one of the most polluted regions based on year-round particle measurements when compared to other U.S. cities.[3] [NEJM 2004;351:1057-1067] Despite the smog problems, the city has made tremendous efforts to reduce pollution by incorporating additional means of mass transit (Metrolink) and equipping its entire fleet of buses with natural gas. A General Plan for the city was prepared in the year 1994 and updated in 2004. This documentation set forth broad planning goals for the city and specifically included housing, transportation, noise, seismic safety, natural resources, and all other State of California mandated elements.

[edit] Gangs and crime

Like many urban areas, Riverside has had its problems with street gangs. The three most gang-prone areas are the Casa Blanca, Eastside and Arlanza neighborhoods. Data collected by Project Bridge, an anti-gang program under the City of Riverside’s Park and Recreation Department, shows that the city of Riverside has experienced an increase in gang membership and gang activity since the early 1990s. In 1991, Riverside had approximately 82 gangs with 4,500 active gang members. More recent estimates indicate there are 86 gangs with 8,000 members. Reportedly 2,000 of these members are juveniles, while 10 of these gangs are primarily comprised of minors. The juvenile crime rates did drop dramatically between 1994 and 1997 for these areas. However, juvenile crime rates have exhibited a gradual and steady rise since 1998. In 2000, Casa Blanca, Arlanza and Eastside had crime rates of approximately 40, 18, and 30 per 1000 youths, respectively. Of these three areas, the Eastside’s problems are compounded by the highest unemployment rate in the City, 25.1%. The neighborhood also has the lowest educational attainment in the City, with 32% of the population having less than a 9th grade education. Project Bridge has provided comprehensive services to at-risk and gang-involved youth between the ages of 12 and 22 and their families in for over a decade. Since 1995, the program has served over 500 gang-involved youth with recent enrollment nearing 150 participants. Almost 50 percent of participant enrollment is generated from the Eastside.[4]

Riverside's Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression project is focused on two of the high gang-crime neighborhoods, Casa Blanca and Eastside. In these neighborhoods, there are 21 gangs with approximately 3,230 members. The project targets more than 150 gang-involved and high-risk youth. Oversight of the project is handled by a committee consisting of local agencies and organizations, including the Riverside County Juvenile Court, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, the Riverside and Alvord Unified School Districts, the Youth Service Center, and other agency and community leaders.[5]

On the 2006 list of safest cities in America by Morgan Quitno Press, Riverside scored a middle-of-the-road 209th out of 371 ranked cities of over 75,000 population.[6] Riverside ranked much better than comparable-sized California cities like Oakland (364th), San Bernardino (348th), Stockton (336th), Sacramento (322rd) and Bakersfield (236th). Like much of the country, Riverside's crime rate has been steadily dropping since reaching all-time high in the 1970s[citation needed] though the past two years has seen a slight increase in the overall violent crime rate (1,954 crimes in 2005 vs. 1,777 in 2004.) Car thefts and arson are well-above the national average with 2,770 car thefts and 208 arson incidents in 2005 alone.

 Sprawling suburban homes are commonplace in Riverside.
Sprawling suburban homes are commonplace in Riverside.

[edit] Landmarks

Riverside is home of the historic Mission Inn, the Historic Riverside County Courthouse (based on the Petit Palais in Paris, France), and the Fox Theater (where the first showing of Gone with the Wind took place).

Also it is the home of the "World's Largest Paper Cup" which is over three stories (68.10 feet tall). There is a warehouse/manufacturing building (Dixie Corporation) right behind it. It is made of painted concrete. The "Dixie Cup" landmark is located on Iowa Street just north of Palmyrita. The manufacturing plant itself is now non-existent.

Three notable hills are in Riverside's scenic landscape: Box Springs Mountain, Evans (Jurupa) Hill and Tecolote Hill; all of which are preserved open spaces. South of Riverside is Lake Matthews. There is also the well-known landmark/foothill, Rubidoux Mountain, which is next to the Santa Ana River and one of the most noticeable landmark in the downtown area. This mountain is the dividing line between the town of Rubidoux and the City of Riverside.

[edit] Neighborhoods

Victoria Avenue, which bisects Riverside, hosts many species of trees and plants.
Victoria Avenue, which bisects Riverside, hosts many species of trees and plants.

The City of Riverside has 28 neighborhoods[7] within city limits. These neighborhoods include: Airport, Alessandro Heights, Arlanza, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Arlington South, Canyon Crest, Casa Blanca, Downtown, Eastside, Grand, Hawarden Hills, Hunter Industrial Park, La Sierra, La Sierra Acres, La Sierra Hills, La Sierra South, Magnolia Center, Mission Grove, Northside, Orangecrest, Presidential Park, Ramona, Sycamore Canyon Park, Sycamore Canyon/Canyon Springs, University, Victoria, and Wood Streets.

[edit] Current annexation proposals

The City Council has also proposed numerous annexations of nearby unincorporated communities which will dramatically increase its population and land area over the next few years. Most notable, the Lake Hills/Victoria Grove area, which would extend its southwestern borders to Lake Matthews.[8]

Communities include:

City limit map which shows upcoming annexations.
City limit map which shows upcoming annexations.
  • 97 Berry Road
  • 103 Barton/Gem
  • 104 I-215 Corridor
  • 105 Sycamore/Central
  • 106 East Blaine
  • 107 Alta Cresta Remainder
  • 108 Lake Hills/Victoria Grove
  • 111 University City
  • 112 Kaliber
  • 113 Barton/Station

[edit] Potential annexations

  • A Center Street
  • B Highgrove
  • C Spring Mountain Ranch (92)
  • D Canyon Ridge
  • E Woodcrest (to be determined)
  • F Gateway

[edit] Transportation

Riverside is served by three major freeways, the I-215, the State Route 60, and the State Route 91. These three freeways meet in north-eastern Riverside at the 60/91/215 interchange, which is currently going through a heavy reconstruction, due to be completed in late-2007.

The constant construction on Riverside freeways has taken its toll on Riverside's image. The area near the 215/91 interchange has a reputation as being one of the worst interchanges in the nation due to its location in a turn, continued construction, short exit time, and other factors.

The city contains two Metrolink commuter rail stations, Riverside-Downtown and Riverside-La Sierra. Both are served by the Inland Empire-Orange County and 91 Lines, and the Downtown station is served by the Riverside Line on weekdays, and the San Bernardino Line on weekends.

Local bus service is provided by the Riverside Transit Agency[9] Service is relatively limited, though this is common for the region. Recently, the agency proposed a new Bus Rapid Transit route to travel along the current Route 1 from the University of California to Corona. The project was due in the summer of 2005, and as of writing is still stalled in the planning stages.

Riverside Municipal Airport (FAA designator: RAL) has a 5,400 foot runway.

[edit] Festivals

The Riverside International Film Festival takes place March 2, 2007 to March 11, 2007. The festival includes directors from around the world.

The Orangle Blossom Festival takes place every year on the third weekend of May. The festival includes tasting various oranges grown in the city along with other orange flavored treats such as BBQ sauces and orange kettle corn. There is a parade, carnival, music, dancing, shopping, storytelling, and fireworks.

[edit] Notable natives

[edit] Sister cities

Riverside has six sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International.[12]

The city of Riverside has an economic partnership program with the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Mexico in the early 2000s.

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b MONEY Magizine: Best places to live 2006: Riverside, CA snapshot
  2. ^ California Department of Health Services
  3. ^ Air pollution and lung development. Retrieved on March 17, 2006.
  4. ^ Riverside Art Council - Project Bridge
  5. ^ Riverside - Youth Gang Program
  6. ^ TBO.com - List of Most Dangerous Cities
  7. ^ City of Riverside: Office of Neighborhoods
  8. ^ City of Riverside Building and Planning - Annexations
  9. ^ Riverside Transit Agency
  10. ^ Univ. of Calif., Riverside
  11. ^ Riverside Community College
  12. ^ Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI)

[edit] External links

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