Mission Inn Avenue elevation


Riverside Main LIBRARY



Riverside, CA


City of Riverside

Size and Cost:

40,000 SF; $30 M







Steve Johnson, Jim Favaro

Project Architect:

Steve Johnson

Associate Principal:

Brian Davis

Design Associate:

Kevin Geraghty, Hongjie Li

This three-story building on Mission Inn Avenue in downtown Riverside will span over Fairmont Boulevard which bisects the 2 ½ acre site on the eastern edge of downtown. The new facility will operate as the downtown main library within an eight-branch city library system. The library will occupy one-third of the site, while a high-rise, mixed-use development will occupy the other two-thirds. Most of the library will reside at the second floor — 36 feet above the ground — to capture both a sense of stature for the library and the spectacular panoramic views of the mountain ranges surrounding the city.

The ground floor will remain open to accommodate outdoor community functions and events, such as farmers markets, festivals and book fairs. The library will feature a shaded outdoor terrace at the second floor facing southwest toward Mount Rubidoux — a prominent local landmark. High column free space at the second and third floors will accommodate maximum flexibility in the library's interiors, enabling it to adapt to changing times. Views from the main reading areas will look out onto the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Box Spring mountains to the west, north and east.