Magnolia Center has been a part of the City of Riverside since its foundation. This neighborhood can boast that it was the home of State Senator Henry L. Streeter who sponsored legislation that led to the creation of Riverside County in 1893. His house still stands at 5211 Central Avenue.
Its history and age are reflected in the design of its residential neighborhoods. Newer subdivisions have given the neighborhood an interesting mix of modern and traditional street layouts. This neighborhood boomed in the decade after World War Two and this left little room for new development after the 1970’s.
The Riverside Plaza, Riverside’s first large commercial center, was once the focus of most of the city’s economic strength. The development of nearby malls and commerce centers has reduced Riverside Plaza’s economic status, but the area still provides economic opportunities and planning for its future is ongoing. Commercial uses are centered upon Magnolia Avenue and Central, and the meeting of these two great streets creates one of Riverside’s most unique intersections. The remaining area of this community is devoted to residential neighborhoods, which tend to be laid out in a more traditional grid pattern.
Magnolia Center is built upon relatively flat land, but the eastern portion begins to rise up, marking the foot of the Victoria Hills.
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