|City of Riverside|
|— City —|
|Nickname(s): City of Arts and Innovation|
Location in the state of California
City of Riverside
|- City Council||Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge
Chris Mac Arthur
|- City Manager||Bradley J. Hudson|
|- City Treasurer/Finance Director||Paul Sundeen|
|- City Clerk||Colleen Nicol|
|- Total||202.0 km2 (78 sq mi)|
|- Land||199.6 km2 (77.1 sq mi)|
|- Water||0.7 km2 (0.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||262 m (860 ft)|
|Population (July 2009)|
|- Density||1,503/km2 (3,908/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP code||92501-92509, 92513-92519, 92521-92522|
|GNIS feature ID||1661315|
Riverside is the largest city in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area of Southern California, and is approximately 60 miles (97 km) east of Los Angeles. With a population of 293,201 people in 2000, it is the 61st largest city in the United States and 12th largest city in the U.S. State of California, however as of 2009, Riverside had an estimated population of 300,430. MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2006: Riverside, CA snapshot</ref> Additionally, Riverside is the county seat of Riverside County, and is so named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. The city spans 78.0 sq miles  in Southern California and is anchor to the America's 25th largest metropolitan area with 4.1 million people spread out over 27,298 sq. mi. (70,669 km²) in Southern California.
Riverside was founded in the early 1870s and is the birthplace of the California citrus industry as well as home of the Mission Inn Hotel, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. It is also home of the Riverside National Cemetery.
Many attractions known by people of the Inland Empire are located near or in the city such as the University of California, Riverside, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park as well as the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, planted in 1873 and one of two original orange trees in California.
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, and Republican. There were 4 saloons in Riverside when it was founded. The license fees were raised until the saloons moved out of Riverside. 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.
The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry Riverside is famous for beginning three years later (1874)  when Eliza Tibbets received three  Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a personal friend, William Saunders who was a horticulturist at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The trees came from Bahia, Brazil. The Bahia Orange did not do well in Florida, but its success in Southern California was phenomenal.
The three trees were planted on the Tibbets' property. One of the trees died after it was trampled by a cow during the first year it was planted. After the trampling other two trees were then transplanted to property belonging to Sam McCoy as the trees were not being cared for well enough by L. C. Tibbets, Eliza's husband. The trees were again transplanted, one at the Mission Inn property in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, (this tree died in 1922) and the other was placed at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington Ave. Eliza Tibbets was honored with a stone marker placed with the tree. That tree still stands to this day inside a protective fence.
The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly. Many growers purchased bud wood and then grafted the cuttings to root stock. Within a few years, the successful cultivation of many thousands of the newly discovered Brazilian 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.
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 Mission Inn, favored by presidents, royalty and movie stars. Inside was housed a special chair made for the sizable President William Howard Taft. The hotel was modeled after the missions left along the California coast by Franciscan friars in the 16th and 17th centuries. (Although Spanish missionaries came as far inland as San Bernardino (San Bernardino de Sena Estancia), east of Riverside, there was no actual Spanish mission in what is now Riverside.) 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 98.4 square miles (255 km2), of which, 98.1 square miles (222.3 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.36% water. The elevation of downtown Riverside is 860 feet. There are some hills within the city limits of Riverside. Riverside is surrounded by small and large mountains, some of which get winter snow.
Riverside experiences a semi-arid or an arid mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification BSh or CSa) with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively wet winters. Temperatures in the summer can exceed 95°F (35°C) but with low humidity. In the winter, high temperatures may not rise above 55°F (13°C) during rainy days. On average, January is the coldest month with an average high/low of 68°F/43°F (20°C/6°C) while August is the hottest with a high/low of 95°F/64°F (35°C/18°C). Riverside receives 10.22" of precipitation annually with most of it occurring in the winter and early spring, especially January through March, with January being the wettest month. However, during El Nino years, Southern California can receive considerably more precipitation and cooler temperatures than average. Mudslides are more common during these winters due to the very powerful storms that are more frequent in the warm phase of ENSO.
|Average high °F (°C)||68
|Average low °F (°C)||43
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.32
|Source:  2009-10-17|
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. [NEJM 2004;351:1057-1067] Despite smog problems, the city has made efforts to reduce pollution by incorporating additional means of mass transit (Metrolink) and equipping its entire fleet of buses with natural gas. Smog has decreased considerably over the past years, and it should continue to decrease if measures are taken to reduce smog. 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.
The city of Riverside is located within, and part of, the following geographic designations;
Riverside is home of the historic Mission Inn, the beaux-arts style Historic Riverside County Courthouse (based on the Petit Palais in Paris, France), and the Riverside Fox Theater, where the first showing of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind took place. The theater was purchased by the city and is now refurbished. Part of the Riverside Renaissance Initiative, the Fox Theater is currently undergoing rehabilitation to become a performing arts theater. The building will be expanded to hold 1,600 seats, and will boast a stage large enough for Broadway-style performances. The expected completion date for the rehabilitation efforts is Fall 2009. In 2010 singer Sheryl Crow opened the newly remodeled Fox Theater to a nearly sold out show.
It is also the home of the "World's Largest Paper Cup", which is over three stories (68.10 ft) 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 Mathews. There is also the well-known landmark/foothill, Mount Rubidoux, which is next to the Santa Ana River and one of the most noticeable landmark in the downtown area. This foothill is the dividing line between the town of Rubidoux and the City of Riverside.
March Joint Air Reserve Base borders Riverside on the east serving as a divider between the City and Moreno Valley. March ARB is the oldest operating Air Force Base west of the Mississippi River being founded in 1918.
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.
The City of Riverside has 28 neighborhoods within city limits. These neighborhoods include: Airport, Alessandro Heights, Arlanza, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Arlington South, Canyon Crest, Casa Blanca, Downtown, Eastside, Grand, Hawarden Hills, Hillside 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 Springs, University, Victoria, and Wood Streets.
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, other orchards and produce fields. The area these people liven in was called Agua Mansa. Mexican communities were also formed in the barrio of Casa Blanca during the early twentieth century. 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."
The City Council has proposed numerous annexations of nearby unincorporated communities which will 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 Mathews.
Riverside is home to the University of California, Riverside. The UCR Botanical Gardens contains 40 acres (162,000 m²) of unusual plants, with four miles (6 km) 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.
Riverside is also home to the Riverside Public Library system. Branches include: Arlington, La Sierra, Marcy, Main, Eastside Cy-brary, and Casa Blanca.
The Riverside National Cemetery, established in 1976, is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments.
The Riverside Festival of Lights centers around the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, in the downtown area. Decoration of the Inn begins in October and a lighting ceremony that includes notable speakers, fireworks, and live musicians takes place the day after Thanksgiving Day. The Inn puts up more than three million lights and hundreds of animated characters. The festival runs through New Years. At the festival, carolers, horse drawn carriage rides, and ice skating all color the event. Restaurants, cafes, and community groups all contribute to the festival which covers several city blocks in the downtown Riverside area.
Also during the week of Thanksgiving, the Festival of Trees is held at the Riverside Convention Center. Held since 1990, the event seeks to raise money for the Riverside County Regional Medical Center children’s units including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Child Abuse and Neglect Unit, and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Attracting 25,000 people per year, the event has raised over $5 million since its inception. At the Festival of Trees numerous professionally decorated Christmas trees are judged, auctioned and then displayed for public viewing. Other activities include entertainment, a children's craft area, a sweet shop, and Storytime with Santa.
Each year in February The Riverside Dickens Festival is held to, "enhance a sense of community among citizens of Riverside County and Southern California by creating a series of literary events and to provide educational, family-oriented, literary entertainment and activities such as plays, musical performances, pageants, living history presentations, workshops, lectures, classroom study, exhibits and a street bazaar with free entertainment, vendors and costumed characters."
The Riverside Airshow takes place in March at the Riverside Municipal Airport. The event attracts around 70,000 people and includes aerial performers, over 200 acres of aircraft displays, a car show and military vehicle display, children's activities, food and refreshments, helicopter displays and community group exhibits.
The Riverside International Film Festival takes place April 11 - April 20, 2008. The festival includes directors from around the world.
The Legends of Riverside Film Festival and charity fund raiser is held in March each year at the Riverside International Automotive Museum. In addition to showcasing popular racing films, the annual event offers attendees an opportunity to personally meet famous racing legends of the past. In attendance at the 2009 event were racing greats Dan Gurney, Elliot and Stuart Forbes-Robinson, Bob Bondurant, Peter Brock, George Follmer, and Dick Goldstrand. The second annual event is scheduled for March 26 through March 28, 2010.
On September 13, 2008, Riverside also hosted its first LGBT Pride event at White Park, near the Mission Inn.
Riverside is home to a variety of churches, religious organizations, and celebrations. The annual Easter Sunrise service at the top of Mt. Rubidoux is the nation’s oldest continual non-denominational outdoor Easter service The 100th anniversary of the event was held April 12, 2009.
Each December, a second celebration involving Mt. Rubidoux takes place. A 2½-mile procession from Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine to the top of Mount Rubidoux promotes awareness of Juan Diego's walk up Tepeyac hill, in 1531, where he reportedly saw a Marian apparition known as Our Lady of Guadalupe . The 2007 procession attracted 2,500 people.
According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||University of California||7,127|
|2||Riverside Unified School District||4,200|
|4||City of Riverside||2,749|
|5||Alvord Unified School District||2,000|
|6||Riverside Community College||2,000|
|7||Fleetwood Motorhome Svc||1,963|
|8||Riverside Community Hospital||1,600|
|9||Parkview Community Hospital||915|
|10||Riverside Medical Clinic||750|
Riverside's close proximity to Hollywood, combined with its many unique architectural features, has made it a frequent filming choice by Hollywood film studios. The Mission Inn has been a particularly favorite backdrop. It is estimated that the film industry added $45.2 million dollars to the Inland Empire's economy in 2008. The Inland Empire Film Commission, a division of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, was created to promote all of the Inland Empire's diverse features as a valuable resource to the film industry.
Riverside is the 61st-largest city in the United States, 12th largest city in California, the largest city in California's Inland Empire region, the fourth largest inland city in California, the 14th-largest metropolitan area in the nation and part of the 2nd largest Combined Statistical Area in the country.
At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the city's population was 316,154. 60.2% White (37.3% non-Hispanic White alone), 7.7% Black or African American, 1.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 7.0% Asian, 0.5% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 27.7% from some other race and 4.4% from two or more races. 47.4% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race (most of them Mexican Americans).
As of the census of 2000, 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 census of 2000, the population density was 3,267.2 people per square mile (1,261.5/km²). There were 85,974 housing units at an average density of 1,100.8/sq mi (425.0/km²). It is noteworthy that Riverside has the largest population of Mexican-Americans concentrated in any one city located in the Inland Empire, totaling nearly 150,000.
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 $41,660, 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.
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 182 gangs with 8,500 active gang members. More recent estimates indicate there are 186 gangs with 12,000 members. Reportedly 3,000 of these members are juveniles, while 10 of these gangs are primarily 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, 65.1%. The neighborhood also has the lowest educational attainment in the City, with 82% of the population having less than a 4th grade education. Project Bridge has provided comprehensive services to at-risk and gang-involved youth between the ages of 4 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 500 participants. Almost 50 percent of participant enrollment is generated from the Eastside, mostly from the areas around the Eastside Apartments.
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.
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. Riverside ranked much better than comparable-sized California cities like Oakland (364th), San Bernardino (348th), Stockton (336th), Sacramento (322nd) and Bakersfield (236th). Like much of the country, Riverside's crime rate has been steadily dropping since reaching all-time high in the 1970s though the past two years has seen a dramatic 10 percent increase in the overall violent crime rate (1,954 crimes in 2005 vs. 1,777 in 2004.) In the city of Riverside, 14 homicides occurred in 2009, down from 20 in 2008, its highest total since 2003. All but three cases resulted in arrests.
Riverside is governed by a city council and a mayor. The city council has seven members each elected from single member wards. The mayor is elected in a citywide election. In the state legislature Riverside is located in the 31st Senate District, represented by Republican Robert Dutton, and in the 64th and 66th Assembly Districts, represented by Republicans Brian Nestande and Kevin Jeffries respectively. Federally, Riverside is located in California's 44th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Ken Calvert.
According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $892.2 million in Revenues, $706.7 million in expenditures, $3,455.5 million in total assets, $1,662.8 million in total liabilities, and $358.0 million in cash and investments.
The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:
|City Manager||Bradley J. Hudson|
|Assistant City Manager||Thomas M. DeSantis|
|Chief Financial Officer||Paul C. Sundeen|
|Airport Director||Mark S. Ripley|
|City Clerk||Colleen J. Nicol|
|City Attorney||Gregory P. Priamos|
|City Engineer||Tom Boyd|
|Chief of Police||Russ Leach|
|Chief Information Officer||Steve Reneker|
|Community Development Director||Scott Barber|
|Development Director||Belinda Graham|
|Fire Chief||Steve Early|
|General Services Director||Kris Martinez|
|Human Resources Director||Rhonda Strout|
|Library Director||Barbara Custen|
|Museum Director||Ennette Nusbaum|
|Park and Recreation Director||Ralph Nuñez|
|Public Utilities Director||David Wright|
|Public Works Director||Siobhan Foster|
The city of Riverside is served by several institutions of higher learning:
Riverside has two notable institutions of learning for specified student bodies:
Riverside is served by two school districts. Riverside Unified School District serves eastern Riverside. High schools in that district include:
Continuation high schools include:
Alvord Unified School District serves western Riverside. High schools include:
Continuation schools include:
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 rebuilt 60/91/215 interchange that was completed in late 2007.
The constant construction on Riverside freeways has taken its toll on Riverside's image. The area near the 60/91/215 interchange had 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. Riverside is one of America's most congested cities because of heavy traffic, it used to be at the top of the list, but it has gone down to number 19.
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. Amtrak's Southwest Chief also serves the city.
Local bus service is provided by the Riverside Transit Agency 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 is expected in FY 2011 or 2012, as funding is made available.
The Riverside Municipal Airport (FAA designator: RAL) with a 5,400-foot (1,600 m) runway, is the only airport within Riverside's city limits, and is the location for the annual Riverside Air Show. The airport is primarily used for private and business aviation. The nearest major airport is the LA/Ontario International Airport in the city of Ontario, California (FAA designator: ONT), about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Riverside.
Riverside has been home to many professional sports players including Basketball Hall of Fame siblings Reggie and Cheryl Miller, formerly of Poly High School in Riverside. Another notable resident is heavyweight boxing prospect Chris Arreola who trains at Lincoln Gym on 14th and Victoria in Downtown Riverside.
|Sister cities of Riverside, California|
|Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico|
|Jiangmen, People's Republic of China|
|Gangnam, South Korea|
The Sendai Committee is working on setting up a secure e-pal system whereby the residents of Sendai and Riverside can exchange emails in a fashion similar to pen pals. The aim is to promote grassroots cultural exchange between the two sister cities.
|City of Riverside|
|Nickname(s): The City of Trees|
|- Mayor||Ronald O. Loveridge|
|Population (July 2008)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
Riverside is a big city in California. It is the county seat of Riverside County. The city, which got its name from being close to the Santa Ana River, is the first place that California that people sold a lot of citrus fruit. In 2008, about 311,575 people lived in Riverside. The city is the 61st biggest city in the United States and the 12th biggest city in California.
Because houses cost less money in Riverside than most cities in Southern California, people have been slowly moving there. This makes traffic bad as people from Riverside drive to work in Orange County and Los Angeles.
Riverside has a few schools, including La Sierra University, California Baptist College, and the University of California-Riverside. The city also has Riverside Municipal Museum, the California Museum of Photography, and the California Citrus State Historic Park. In 1873, the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree was planted in Riverside, and it is one of two original orange trees in California. The historic Mission Inn is another popular place.