Welcome to the Magnolia Area Neighborhood Alliance!
Click on the "Merrill Avenue" tab, above, and share your opinion!
M.A.N.A. is a group of concerned, involved neighbors (just like you), determined to keep our community safe, clean, and fun!
Started in June, 2009, M.A.N.A. is an “umbrella” group that provides support and information to Neighborhood Watch groups, other organized neighborhood groups, neighbors interested in forming groups, and any person residing, working, attending school and/or church within the Magnolia Center. M.A.N.A. is the proud recipient of the “Neighborhood Spirit Award” for Ward 3 in both 2010 and 2011, along with being featured at many City Council meetings as a leader in the community and bringing local businesses together with neighbors.
M.A.N.A. holds monthly meetings featuring key speakers who keep residents informed of city plans and current developments and projects. The group has been instrumental in addressing specific neighbor concerns by bringing the right people together to solve issues.
Join us at our monthly public meetings held the second Wednesday of every month at the:
Janet Goeske Senior Center
5257 Sierra Street, Riverside, CA 92504
(at the corner of Streeter Avenue and Sierra Street)
Click on the tabs at the top of the page
to get the latest information for Magnolia Center -- and beyond!
Flyers and information on special events happening in our area --
family events, fundraisers, and meetings.
News You Can Use
Special announcements or articles -- to help you become -- and stay -- informed.
Links to Cool Stuff
Web sites that will help you communicate with city hall or find something to do this weekend!
Follow us on Facebook! Find us by clicking here! and on Twitter, too, at Janice@manariverside
Every month at our M.A.N.A. meetings, we feature an area business. Would YOU like to be THAT business? If you are a new business, or even if you have been in Magnolia Center forever, contact us to let us know you want to come to one of our monthly meetings and tell everyone all about who you are and what you do!
National Night Out
Riverside Neighborhood Conference
National Night Out
RUSD Party at the Plaza
Do you have an extra cell phone
Don't know what to do with it or how to recycle it? M.A.N.A. has a solution for you! We are collecting unwanted cell phones as a fundraiser to help defray the costs for printing, entry fees, event supplies -- all the things we need to help get the word out about what M.A.N.A. is and what we can do for residents of the Magnolia Center area. For more information, contact us using the form, below, or by emailing us directly at email@example.com
Are you looking for the latest new mystery novel? Or the morning newspaper? A
computer to help you with your job search? Or just a nice, quiet, safe environment to hang out in and read?
Look no further than your local Magnolia Center Library aka The Marcy Branch! Located next to Low Park north of the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington Avenues, the Marcy Branch Library has something for everyone. Click here to find out more!
“Whatever the cost of our libraries,
the price is cheap compared to that
of an ignorant nation.
-- Walter Cronkite (1916-2009);
American broadcast journalist
ANNUAL DUES & DONATIONS
Become a member of M.A.N.A. today! Annual membership dues are $15. Your dues and other donations fund projects in our neighborhood, help pay for expenses (like printing) when we participate in events like the annual Neighborhood Conference, and help to get the word out about what we have done and what we plan to do to help the Magnolia Center neighborhoods remain one of the best areas of town to live in! Just click on the DONATE button, below, and send a payment, via PayPal, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest and support!
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. 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.
Why is the area around the intersection of Magnolia, Central, and Brockton Avenues in Riverside called “Magnolia Center?” One might think it has to do with a shopping center, but that is not the case.
According to a column by Steve Lech published December 7, 2012, in the Press Enterprise, when Magnolia Avenue was extended north from Arlington to 14th Street downtown, it crossed Central Avenue very close to Central’s intersection with Brockton Avenue. This created a “Five Points” location that quickly began to sprout houses and businesses.
One nearby business was the realty office of William Lawler on Palm Avenue. In the early 1920s, Lawler advertised heavily in the local papers, but on Nov. 22, 1923, he advertised several properties for sale right around his office. In the ad, he claimed the properties were “within 2 blocks of my office . . . and my office is the exact center of Riverside.”
This claim apparently sent several people scrambling for their maps of the city. One such person was a competitor of Lawler’s, Russell Burlingame. On Dec. 31 of that year, Burlingame put in a small ad for his realty business, which he claimed was “at the intersection of Brockton, Central, and Magnolia — the exact center of Riverside.”
The assertion that the area was Riverside’s center seems to have stuck, for over the next few years, as Burlingame and others tried to create a new business district around the intersection, several realty ads alluded to the assumption that the area would be the “center of Riverside in 1930.”
All of this was taking place in what was then being called the “New Magnolia District” after “New” Magnolia Avenue, the name people gave to the section of Magnolia between Arlington and 14th Street.
By 1927, a new, catchier term began to be used for the area, that of Magnolia Center.
The first reference to the term seems to come from the Magnolia Center Business Men’s Association, which was created either in 1926 or 1927 from many of the businessmen who were buying property and setting up offices around the intersection. These men and others hoped to create a business district separate from downtown.
They wasted no time in advertising their businesses together under the banner of the Magnolia Center Business Men’s Association, and included such businesses as a realty office, garage, gasoline station, tailor, grocer, confectioner, sundry shop, homebuilder, and radio store. With the greater Wood Street area quickly developing with new homes, Magnolia Center was becoming a secondary place to shop for Riverside’s burgeoning population.
Once the term Magnolia Center had been coined, Burlingame and others used it extensively in their advertising. Throughout 1927 and 1928, hundreds of realty ads touted the new term. By 1928, the term had caught on in the local vernacular. From that point on, the term Magnolia Center became synonymous with the region of Riverside centered around the intersection of Magnolia, Brockton, and Central Avenues. The photo above was taken around 1930 or so. Notice the 76 station where there is still one today! And the Gilmore gas station is now Kuma Tires.