Riverside, California facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|City of Riverside|
City of Arts & Innovation
Location of Riverside County within the State of California
|Country||United States of America|
|Incorporated||October 11, 1883|
|Chartered||March 5, 1907|
|• Total||98.6 sq mi (255.44 km2)|
|• Land||98.5 sq mi (254.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.304 sq mi (0.788 km2) 0.37%|
|Elevation||827 ft (252 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||1st in Riverside County
12th in California
59th in the United States
|• Density||3,315/sq mi (1,280/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
92501–92509, 92513–92519, 92521–92522
|GNIS feature IDs||1661315, 2410965|
Riverside is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. Riverside is the county seat of the eponymous county and named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. It is the most populous city in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County, and is located about 60 miles (97 km) east of Los Angeles. It is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Riverside is the 59th most populous city in the United States and 12th most populous city in California. As of the 2010 Census, Riverside had a population of 303,871.
Riverside was founded in the early 1870s. It is the birthplace of the California citrus industry and home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery.
The University of California, Riverside, is located in the northeastern part of the city. The university also hosts the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the last of the two original navel orange trees in California.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the area was inhabited by Cahuilla and the Serrano people. Californios such as Bernardo Yorba and Juan Bandini established ranches during the first half of the 19th century. In the 1860s, Louis Prevost launched the California Silk Center Association, a short-lived experiment in sericulture. In the wake of its failure, John W. North purchased some of its land and formed the Southern California Colony Association to promote the area's development. In March 1870, North distributed posters announcing the formation of a colony in California. North, a staunch temperance-minded abolitionist from New York State, had formerly founded Northfield, Minnesota. A few years later, some navel orange trees were planted and found to be such a success that full-scale planting began. Riverside was temperance minded, and Republican. There were four 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 Tibbetts 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 thrive in Florida, but its success in Southern California was phenomenal.
The three trees were planted on the Tibbetts' property. One of the trees died after it was trampled by a cow during the first year it was planted. After the trampling, the two remaining trees were transplanted to property belonging to Sam McCoy to receive better care than L. C. Tibbetts, Eliza's husband, could provide. Later, 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 Tibbetts was honored with a stone marker placed with the tree. That tree still stands to this day inside a protective fence abutting what is now a major intersection.
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 richest city in the United States (in terms of income 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 18th and 19th 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 scattering of elegant turn-of-the-century homes, and citrus-lined paseo, serves as a reminder of European investors who settled here.
Riverside is the 59th largest city in the United States, 12th largest city in California, and the largest city in California's Inland Empire metro area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 81.4 square miles (210.8 km2), of which 81.1 square miles (210 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (0.37%) is water. The elevation of downtown Riverside is 860 feet (260 m). Hills within the city limits include Mount Rubidoux, a city landmark and tourist attraction. Riverside is surrounded by small and large mountains, some of which get a dusting of winter snow. Many residents also enjoy the many beaches of Southern California. Riverside is about a 47-mile drive to the Pacific Ocean.
Riverside is home to the historic Mission Inn, the Beaux-Arts style Riverside County Historic 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 refurbished as part of the Riverside Renaissance Initiative. The Fox Theater underwent extensive renovation and restoration, which was completed in 2009, to turn the old cinema into a performing arts theater. The building was expanded to hold 1,600 seats and the stage was enlarged to accommodate Broadway-style performances. In January 2010, singer Sheryl Crow opened the newly remodeled Fox Theater in a nearly sold-out show.
Riverside is also the home of the "World's Largest Paper Cup" (actually made of concrete), which is over three stories (68.10 ft) tall. The "Dixie Cup" landmark is located on Iowa Street just north of Palmyrita, in front of what was once the Dixie Corporation's manufacturing plant (now closed down).
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 landmarks 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, having been 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 that is home to many species of birds. On nearby private land is the former site of Spring Rancheria, a Cahuilla village.
The city of Riverside has 28 designated "neighborhoods" within the 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 lived in was originally a settlement called La Placita that predated the city being founded in 1843. Mexican communities were also formed in the barrio of Casa Blanca during the early twentieth century.
The City Council has proposed many annexations of nearby unincorporated communities which will increase its population and land area over the next few years. Most notable is the Lake Hills/Victoria Grove area, which would extend its southwestern borders to Lake Mathews.
- 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
- A Center Street
- B Highgrove
- C Spring Mountain Ranch (92)
- D Canyon Ridge
- E Woodcrest
- F Gateway
Riverside is home to the University of California, Riverside. The UCR Botanical Gardens contains 40 acres (16 ha) 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 one surviving Parent Navel Orange Tree, from which all American West Coast navel orange trees are descended.
There are three hospitals in Riverside.
- 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 system. Branches include: Arlanza, Arlington, La Sierra, Marcy, Main, Orange Terrace, Eastside Cybrary, and Casa Blanca.
Convention facilities are available at several locations. The Riverside Convention Center, remodeled in 2014, offers 66,000 sq ft (6,100 m2) indoors and 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2) outdoor space. Also available is the Riverside Marriott with 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2) indoors, and the Mission Inn with 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) indoors and 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) outdoors. All three facilities are located within walking distance of each other in downtown Riverside. Meetings with an academic focus are also held at the University of California, Riverside.
Riverside experiences a semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSh) climate with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively wet winters. Temperatures in the summer generally average in the 90s (°F) but often exceed 100 °F (38 °C) though with somewhat low humidity. In the winter, high temperatures average in the upper 60s (°F), but may not rise above 55 °F (13 °C) during rainy days. January, the coldest month, averages a high / low temperature of 68 °F / 43 °F (20 °C / 6 °C), while August, the hottest month, averages a high / low temperature of 95 °F / 64 °F (35 °C / 18 °C). Riverside receives 10.4 inches of precipitation annually with most of it occurring in the winter and early spring, especially January through March, with February the wettest month.
|Climate data for Riverside (1981–2010, extremes 1893–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||94
|Average high °F (°C)||69.0
|Average low °F (°C)||43.0
|Record low °F (°C)||19
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.09
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||5.5||5.9||5.1||2.5||1.0||0.3||0.5||0.3||1.0||1.7||2.7||3.9||30.4|
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 decreased considerably over the next few years as local municipalities and counties worked with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to implement measures to improve regional air quality. The smog alerts that people remember from decades ago are history. Most of Riverside's smog problems are the result of the prevailing wind patterns that blow the smog from the Los Angeles Basin and particulates generated by Southern California's multitude of vehicles, and the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach into the Inland Empire.
|Black or African American||7.0%||7.4%||7.4%||5.2%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||49.0%||38.1%||26.0%||11.4%|
Arts and culture
- See also: List of museums in Riverside, California
- California Citrus State Historic Park Museum
- Entomology Research Museum at the University of California, Riverside (not open to the public).
- Heritage House Museum
- March Field Air Museum
- Mission Inn Museum
- Museum of Online Museums, the MoOM, an online museum maintained by the California Baptist University.
- Riverside Art Museum
- Riverside International Automotive Museum
- Riverside Metropolitan Museum
- Sherman Indian Museum at the Sherman Indian High School
- Southern California Medical Museum, housed at the Riverside County Medical Association
- Sweeney Art Gallery, an extension of the University of California, Riverside
- The Stahl Center Museum of Culture at the La Sierra University
- University of California, Riverside California Museum of Photography
- World Museum of Natural History at the La Sierra University
Festivals and events
Several festivals occur throughout the year in Riverside, many focused on the downtown area.
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 (0.81 km2) of aircraft displays, a car show and military vehicle display, children's activities, food and refreshments, helicopter displays and community group exhibits.
The March Field Airfest, also known as Thunder Over the Empire, is a biennial air show held at March Air Reserve Base. The air show is among the largest events in the Inland Empire and Riverside County. The show has featured such performers as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, the Air Combat Command demonstrations teams and many other military and civilian demonstrations. 2010 saw the Patriots Jet Team as the highlight demonstration team of the show. Attendance for the 2010 show was estimated at over 150,000.
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 Riverside International Film Festival (RIFF) takes place in April and features films from around the world. Sponsored by the city of Riverside, local universities, and many businesses, past festivals have featured over 175 films.
In October, the California Riverside Ballet sponsors the Ghost Walk, which in 2013 celebrated its 22nd year. The event is an adventure through some of the city's oldest and most historic buildings, with volunteers leading tours and telling tales of ghouls and ghosts.
Also, in October, for one evening, from late afternoon until midnight, the Long Night of Arts & Innovation is held in Downtown Riverside. This signature event of the city of Riverside is designed to showcase its best talent in the visual and performing arts, science and technology from its universities, community college, school districts, and most innovative companies and arts organizations. It is also designed to encourage school children to seek innovative careers in the arts and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) by connecting them to professors, artists, professionals and performers from these institutions.
The Riverside Festival of Lights centers around the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, located downtown. Decoration of the Inn begins in October and a lighting ceremony that includes 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. Carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice skating all color the festival. Restaurants, cafes, and community groups all contribute to the festival. The festival runs through New Year's Day.
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, many 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.
The Riverside Robot Expo is held in November each year, sponsored by the Riverside Robotics Society in alignment of its goal "to bring robotics to the Inland Empire." Society members bring robots and robot replicas to the event to spark children's interest in math, robotics and other sciences.
Other events in Riverside include a LGBT Pride event, which was first held at White Park on September 13, 2008, and on the first Thursdays of each month the Riverside Art Walk, with local vendors selling handmade arts and crafts.
In the past, a relatively large multi-day street fair known as the Orange Blossom Festival used to occur on an annual basis in spring. It featured art, music, food, technology, and many events. In 2006, the city council cancelled the event citing violence and public intoxication.
Riverside is largely Christian and home to Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, and an Islamic mosque, Mormon churches, Jewish synagogue, Hindu temple, several Buddhist temples, and a Universalist Unitarian church. Riverside is also home to the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics organization.
Several religious celebrations take place on top of the city's Mount Rubidoux. One is an annual Easter Sunrise service, which 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 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.
In 2012, a controversy erupted regarding the cross atop Mount Rubidoux, which was on city-owned land and maintained by the city. Due to constitutional issues regarding separation of church and state, the Riverside City Council sold the cross and the land under it (0.43 acre) to a private entity for $10,500.
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 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 which runs from Los Angeles to Chicago also serves the city.
Local bus service is provided by the Riverside Transit Agency. Recently, the agency proposed a new bus rapid transit route to travel along the current Route 1 from the University of California, Riverside 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 Ontario International Airport in the city of Ontario, California (FAA designator: ONT), about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Riverside.
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