Downtown Living Essentials: Entrance Buzzers

As market-rate housing returns to Downtown Redding, we need to (re)discover amenities that further enhance urban living. In this ongoing feature, we’ll take a look at elements that we consider to be essential to quality urban life—from simple things that developers can implement in their buildings to public policies and public amenities that make downtown better for everyone.

Entrance Buzzers

A simple entrance buzzer like this allows tenants to let guests into the building without going downstairs.
A simple entrance buzzer like this allows tenants to let guests into the building without going downstairs.

We’ve all seen them in movies or TV shows set in New York: a visitor pushes a button at the building’s entrance and the tenant is notified in their apartment, where they can buzz their guest inside if they like. After all, who wants to traipse up and down a couple of flights of stairs to let in a visitor? No one! It is little things like this that can make huge differences in the quality of an urban dweller’s life.… Read the rest

Guerilla Artists Strike in Downtown Redding

Guerilla public art by unknown artists at the old Dicker's building.
Guerilla public art by unknown artists at the old Dicker’s building.

Today, the old Dicker’s building (or Need for Speed building for you young ‘uns) is sitting empty and boarded up, waiting for the final draft of the Downtown Redding Transportation Plan to find out whether the City of Redding is going to open up Market Street to automobiles again. If so, it will require the demolition of the one-story structure, which sticks out into the old right-of-way of Butte, Market, and Yuba Streets. From what we hear, that will be just fine with owners K2 Development Company, who would like to build a multi-story mixed-use building on the site.

In the meantime, there’s a few pieces of plywood up covering broken windows on the Market Street side. Some unknown community-minded artists took it upon themselves to spruce up the plywood with a little artwork. Although the scuttlebutt is that these artists didn’t secure permission before applying paint to pressboard, we hope the folks at K2 don’t mind too much—these temporary art installations damaged no real estate and helped eliminate a little visual blight downtown until the fate of the Dicker’s building is decided.… Read the rest

Historic Bell Rooms Threatened With Demolition

This is not exactly the note we wanted to begin on, but we think it is important to discuss that yet another historic building in Downtown Redding is threatened with demolition.

Location of the Bell Rooms, indicated by push-pin.
Location of the Bell Rooms, indicated by push-pin. Imagery via Google Earth.

The latest structure to be menaced by the wrecking ball is the Bell Rooms building, a 107-year-old, two-story brick building located on the southwest corner of Shasta and California Street. The building is part of a small complex of newer buildings that includes a cinderblock addition and a row of auto repair bays directly south. These buildings were most recently home to Bing Automotive, B&R Radiator Service, and American Lock and Key.

The property is owned by RABA (Redding Area Bus Authority) and is scheduled for demolition this fall. According to a city official, the building is “in severe disrepair” and it is being demolished because of “liability and to provide space for transit expansion or parking.” Please note that as of this moment, the building has not been determined to be structurally unsound—just in ”a state of disrepair.”

The two-story building dates back to the fall of 1908, making it one of the oldest surviving commercial buildings in Redding—older than the Cascade Theater, Redding Hotel, Pine Street School, the downtown post office, downtown fire house, and veterans’ memorial hall.

The Bell Rooms building (built 1908) as it appears in 2015.
The Bell Rooms building (built 1908) as it appears in 2015.

Over the years, this building has been slightly modified from its original appearance—some of the windows have been partially or entirely bricked up and it originally had a peaked roof, porch, as well as a two-story balcony; but underneath the drab paint is some beautiful locally manufactured brick. The interior, by several accounts, is surprisingly intact.

Please take a look and imagine this handsome little building with the auto bays and recent cinderblock addition removed, its natural brick exposed (or at least painted red like the Lorenz Hotel), and its original windows and balcony restored.… Read the rest

Welcome to DowntownRedding.org!

The goal of DowntownRedding.org is to showcase the beauty, the opportunities, and the positives of Downtown Redding with a larger audience. We will also explore Redding’s rich history and may also climb up on a soapbox from time to time to advocate on behalf of Downtown Redding’s best interests.

Although downtown, just like many other Redding neighborhoods, faces some challenges, we feel it is blown out of all proportion to reality. The reality is this: Downtown Redding is a great place to live, work, and play and has a rich history, a myriad of unique advantages, and tremendous potential. If you only experience downtown by zipping through it in a car at 30 MPH, this might not be readily apparent. We invite you to get out of your car and look around, or at least poke around this website.

If you’d like to get involved by contributing to this website, please contact us using the following form:

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