Original artwork for the Riverside Civic Center, prepared for the City Planning Commission by Charles Henry Cheney, one of the most important City Planners of the 20th Century.
The image shows the layout of the Civic Center and a number of profile views of the proposed buildings. The seams shown in the images are a result of the photo process. The artwork is actually on a single sheet of paper.
Charles Henry Cheney was born in Rome, Italy, on February 11, 1884, of American parents. He graduated in architecture and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1905. From 1907 to 1910 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. For two years he traveled extensively in Europe, studying city planning in the major cities of France, Italy, Spain, and England. Upon returning to the United States in 1912, he worked in New York for Charles A. Platt, who later became President of the American Academy in Rome.
In 1912 Cheney moved to California's Bay Area and immediately became a public advocate for city planning on the West Coast. He organized a statewide planning conference in Monterey in 1914 and invited civic leaders, chambers of commerce, real estate associations, improvement clubs, architects, and engineers from every city in the state. His draft for the first city planning enabling act in California was passed by the legislature in 1915.
Cheney was a founding member of the American City Planning Institute in 1917. Cheney helped to initiate city planning activities in the State of California by the mid-1910s. Cheney was responsible for organizing the state's first professional planning conference, in Monterey, California, in 1914. Cheney also drafted the first city planning enabling legislation passed by the state legislature the following year. He became an in-demand city planning consultant in the 1920s, producing plans for numerous California cities, including Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Alameda, Monterey, Palo Alto, Long Beach, Riverside, and Fresno. He also created the planned communities of Palos Verdes Estates and Rancho Santa Fe. Through his work with the Cities of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, and Rancho Santa Fe, CA, Cheney fine-tuned such regulatory planning concepts as homeowner associations, deed covenants and architectural controls. Cheney also produced city plans for the Fresno, CA (1918), Portland, OR (1919), Spokane, WA (1920), and Riverside, CA (1929), among other cities.