La Sierra got its name from the original Mexican land grant known as Rancho La Sierra de Supulveda. The Hole Mansion is the oldest known historic structure in the area, built there by a wealthy lumber baron, Willits J. Hole, beginning in 1913. The Hole Mansion is now a Roman Catholic Seminary. According to Tom Patterson, the community of La Sierra developed as an area of small subsistence farms. The Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church purchased property from Hole in 1922 for what is now the La Sierra Campus of Loma Linda University. A well-established unincorporated area, La Sierra voters approved their annexation to the City of Riverside in 1964.
The La Sierra neighborhood became a part of the city in 1964, in the largest annexation in the city’s history. The west end of La Sierra is focused around La Sierra University and much of the surrounding area reflects the needs of student life.
The neighborhood has been developed in a modern subdivision layout with a high mix of residential, commercial and light industrial sites. La Sierra is a virtual patchwork of land uses, with a ring of commercial and office uses surrounding a medium-density residential area. This region also has a high number of high-density residential uses, which, in this case, are composed completely of apartment buildings.
There is still several hundred acres of undeveloped land very near the University, but plans are afoot to develop this property into a new mixed use community on more than 500 acres. Only a small percentage of homes here were built prior to 1950 and most of the development has occurred between 1960 and 1980. There was a small boost in the last half of the 1980’s and the last half of this decade promises large-scale development.
The Galleria at Tyler, a regional shopping mall anchors the east of the neighborhood and provides shopping opportunities and tax revenues for the entire City.
Council Representatives & Wards