Looking back to the beginning of Riverside, CA, the land was filled with oranges. In the last few decades of the 19th century, seedless navel oranges put Riverside on the map. However, as demand for housing grew, the citrus migrated east to the Imperial Valley and north to the San Joaquin Valley. Currently, Magnolia Center is mostly homes bordered by retail businesses and a revitalized shopping mall.
Magnolia Center occupies about two and a half square miles to the northwest of the Riverside Freeway (Route 91) and to the south of Jurupa Avenue. It is an area of quiet, tree-shaded streets.
Located between Central Avenue and Arlington Avenue on Sierra Street, Magnolia Center sits near Brockton Arcade Shopping Center. This center boasts businesses like Little Green Onions, Don’s Lock & Key, Riverside Stamp & Coin, Bo Bo Thai Food, Koffee Bistro, The Sire Bar & Grill, and Music Mike’s. Magnolia Center is built upon mostly flat land, although the eastern portion begins to rise up, marking the foot of the Victoria Hills.
The city of Riverside has had Magnolia Center as part of its history pretty much since the city was founded. This neighborhood was the home of State Senator Henry L. Streeter, who sponsored legislation that led to the creation of Riverside County in 1893. The Senator’s house still stands at 5211 Central Avenue.
The history and age of this city can easily be seen in the design of its residential neighborhoods. The newer subdivisions give the Magnolia Center neighborhood a mix of modern and traditional looking streets.