The city may begin allowing higher buildings, but would buffer homes and historic spots like the Mission Inn. (Kurt Miller / Press-Enterprise)

By Alicia Robinson / Staff Writer
Published: Sept. 23, 2016
Updated: Sept. 26, 2016 – 7:53 a.m.

Downtown Riverside’s sparse silhouette has been dominated by a few boxy, nondescript towers, two domes and Mount Rubidoux.

Now, officials hoping to bring the city center into the 21st century want to pave the way for upward growth by getting rid of limits on the height of buildings.

Most of Riverside’s downtown districts cap buildings at 60, 100 or 140 feet, though a few were granted exceptions, such as the 166-foot Mount Rubidoux Manor and the 196-foot County Administrative Center.

Allowing more structures to be taller could “create some visual interest and help identify Riverside with a skyline,” Community and Economic Development Director Rafael Guzman said.

The Riverside City Council will discuss possible changes to downtown height limits on Tuesday, Sept. 27.


Near the turn of the 20th century, early skyscrapers in growing cities like Chicago were born of a need for more office space where little land was available, said Catherine Gudis, who directs UC Riverside’s public history program.

“The real estate values began to get higher and higher, so it began to make more sense to fit more people going up instead of going across,” she said.

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