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Downtown San Bernardino is a district in the city of San Bernardino, California, in San Bernardino County, United States. It is home to city and county government buildings, and to the city's central business district.[2] The downtown area of San Bernardino is home to multiple (and the only) diplomatic missions for the Inland Empire, being one of only four California cities with multiple consulates (the other cities being Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco). The governments of Guatemala (opened July 2014) and Mexico have established their consulates in the civic center.[3] Downtown San Bernardino is bounded by I-215 to the west, Waterman Avenue to the east, Baseline Street to the north, and Mill Street to the south.[2]

Downtown San Bernardino
Neighborhood community
Downtown San Bernardino
Downtown San Bernardino
Official seal of Downtown San Bernardino
Nickname(s): Central City, Downtown SB, Downtown Inland Empire
Motto: The Inland Empire's downtown!
  Community, Commerce, Culture [1]
Coordinates: 34°7′46″N 117°17′35″W / 34.12944°N 117.29306°W / 34.12944; -117.29306Coordinates: 34°7′46″N 117°17′35″W / 34.12944°N 117.29306°W / 34.12944; -117.29306
Country United States
State California
City San Bernardino
Elevation 1,059-1,500 ft (602 m)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Website Official website

The San Bernardino City Council is considering another redevelopment effort. The city’s Economic Development Agency presented the council with a draft of the Downtown Core Vision / Action Plan in 2009.[4] – a guide for revitalizing downtown San Bernardino for the next 10 years. The plan is the culmination of a year of research, community participation, and planning led by the city’s EDA and the urban planning firm EDAW. The city is discussing the construction of a new government center/civic plaza that will contain an iconic 24 story tower.[5] On May 11, 2014 the county of San Bernardino opened a 12 story, 200-foot-tall courthouse known as the San Bernardino Justice Center. The county will consolidate many county-wide court functions in the new structure, which is the tallest building in San Bernardino and the Inland Empire.[6][7][8]

In an attempt to revitalize the downtown area, a few youth organizations, such as the San Bernardino Generation Now, The Revolve Touch, and Sinderblocks, emerged. The groups plan to restore a sense of "Pride of ownership" to the city beginning with the Downtown Summer Fest in San Bernardino, creating attention for the beauty of the downtown district. This group uses catchy hashtags to grab the attention of many, such as #WeLoveSB14 and #WeLoveSanBernardino. The San Bernardino Generation Now movement is catching the attention of many as the city begins to rebuild and new businesses begin to look at the downtown area as an open canvas of opportunity.[9][10][11]



Seccombe LakeEdit

Seccombe Lake Park includes a lake named after a former Mayor of San Bernardino. It is located at the corner of 5th Street and Sierra Way.[12] On December 10, 2015, federal authorities searched the lake after receiving a tip that the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack visited on the day of the attack. A dive team searched for evidence[13][14] but nothing relevant was found.[15]

Meadowbrook ParkEdit

Meadowbrook Park is the main downtown park and is home to much activity. The park is located at the corner of 3rd Street and Sierra Way

Court Street SquareEdit

Court Street Square is a square in the downtown area used for the Main Street's events. Downtown San Bernardino is home to many festivals throughout the year including the annual Route 66 Rendezvous, in honor of mother road U.S. Route 66. Approximately 500,000 classic cars come from around the world for this event which takes place on the third weekend in September for four days and three nights of a classic car parade. Court Street Square is at the corner of Court Street and "E" Street.

Entertainment districtEdit

The historic California Theatre.

Downtown is home to three performing arts venues and a movie theatre, the most for any central business district in the Inland Empire. The city is planning a new district along Fourth Street. The key aspect of the plan is to make the area around the California Theatre and future Regal San Bernardino Theatre Square Stadium 14 site on Fourth Street as an area for entertainment and dining. Dining is all that is needed to make this into a reality, as Regal Stadium 14 opened in the spring of 2012.[16]

Performing artsEdit

Regal Theater Square Stadium & RPX 14

The California Theatre of Performing Arts, in downtown San Bernardino, holds cultural events, including touring Broadway theatre presented by Theatrical Arts International, the Inland Empire's largest theatre company, and the San Bernardino Symphony. The historic Fox Theatre of San Bernardino is also located in the downtown area, next to American Sports University. The Fox Theater has been reopened and remodeled. Sturges Theatre is also located downtown, at the intersects of "E" and 8th streets.

Opening of Regal Entertainment GroupEdit

Downtown San Bernardino had a large, luxurious, two story theater until it closed in September 2008.[17] Maya Cinemas was expected to open at the old site of the CinemaStar on February 27, 2009, however it is did fail to do so, and plans for a downtown San Bernardino theater were scratched.[18] As of January 2011, Regal Entertainment Group was in negotiations with the city of San Bernardino to open a theater in the former Cinema Star site. In November 2011, the city of San Bernardino approved a negotiation with Regal has now taken over/rehabilitated the theater, which opened on June 29, 2012 with RPX under the name of Regal San Bernardino Theatre Square Stadium 14 & RPX.[19][20]

Norman F. Feldheym Central LibraryEdit

Norman F. Feldheym Library

The Norman F. Feldheym Central Library is the flagship of the San Bernardino Public Library system. It opened on September 30, 1985, and is the city's fifth central library building since the first one was operated out of a rented house in 1891. Architects Gregory Villanueva and Oscar Arnoni designed the 64,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) $6 million facility, which was named in honor of the late Rabbi Norman F. Feldheym.[21] The library provides a number of cultural enrichment programs for youth and adults in the local community.[22] Partnering with the San Bernardino City Unified School District, the library supports a community Reading Festival for third-graders and their families.[23] The library also sponsors an annual book fair at Cal State San Bernardino, reading clubs, and an "Academy of Public Scholars" critical review club devoted to works of Continental philosophy.[24][25]

City HallEdit

San Bernardino City Hall

City Hall is a six-story building designed in 1963 by César Pelli to reflect the urban environment around it.[26] Completed in 1972, the City Hall is modernist in style,[27] has curtain walls, and is clad entirely in glass, with slim aluminum mullions.[28] Parts of the building are raised off the ground by pilotis.[29]

Carousel MallEdit

Carousel Mall originally opened as Central City Mall in October 1972. In the late 1980s, the mall began to decline due to reduced interest from businesses in close proximity to Inland Center (which is closer to the 215/10 Interchange) and rising crime in the area. Its name was changed to the Carousel Mall as part of a failed revitalization plan in the early 1990s. All the anchor stores and many of the businesses left.

In response to the closures, the mall's owners developed a mixed-use concept to fill vacated retail outlets with offices. LNR Property Corp purchased the property in February 2006 with the intention of developing a high density residential and commercial project. In January 2008, after facing deadlock with the city, LNR Corp sold the Carousel Mall to M & D Properties for $23.5 million.

Downtown universitiesEdit

American Sports University is a private, non-profit [30] sports business university in the downtown area which has remained unaccredited since its inception in 2006; it is seeking accreditation.[31] It has been granted approval to operate from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education of the State of California.


sbX Green Line's Civic Center Station in downtown San Bernardino, northern most downtown stop.

Transit CenterEdit

The Downtown Transit Center is the largest and first inter-model transit center east of Los Angeles, located on a five-acre site located on the southwest corner of Rialto Avenue and E Street near the San Manuel Stadium. The Transit Center will connect the Mountain Areas and the High Desert with the rest of Southern California, via Omnitrans, the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority and the Victor Valley Transit Authority. It serves as a transfer point for bus routes the county, with future connections to the sbX Bus Rapid Transit system, which will connect Verdemont/California State University, San Bernardino to the Veterans Hospital in Loma Linda and the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail System; which is a one-mile Metrolink extension from the Santa Fe Depot, and the Redlands Passenger Light-Rail Project with stops on route to the University of Redlands. Construction began in June 2013 with minimal service opening in April 2014 (sbX only) while a fully operational center opening in September 2014.[32][33][34]

Rapid TransitEdit

The city's transportation agency, Omnitrans, is building San Bernardino Express (sbX), which is a brt line from Verdemont/California State University, San Bernardino to Loma Linda University with two stations in the downtown area; one at the Civic Centre at Court Street Square near the Entertainment District and the other at the downtown intermodel transit center on Rialto Avenue near San Manuel Stadium.


1918 Santa Fe Depot on 3rd Street (Downtown). Amtrak and Metrolink commuter platforms are near the historic building.

San Bernardino is the terminal station for Metrolink's Inland Empire-Orange County Line (to Oceanside via Orange County) and Metrolink San Bernardino Line (to downtown Los Angeles). Amtrak's Southwest Chief, operating from Los Angeles to Chicago has one daily train in each direction, which stops at the same station.

Downtown busEdit

The City of San Bernardino is a member of the joint-powers authority Omnitrans, and downtown is a major transfer point in the local bus system. Buses primarily serve the 4th Street Transit Mall, and provide local service throughout the region, as well as express service to Riverside. A Bus Rapid Transit project, called sbX, is planned from Cal State San Bernardino to Loma Linda. A bus transit center is under construction in the vicinity of E Street and Rialto Avenue. There is also the MARTA bus which takes people directly from downtown to the communities in the San Bernardino Mountains.

San Bernardino International AirportEdit

The San Bernardino International Airport is expected to provide both domestic and international air services. It will provide growth to the city and the Inland Empire. Buses are expected to serve the airport, which lies two to three miles (5 km) from downtown. The airline finished major construction, however there are no current commercial flight airlines occupying the terminals.[35]


Main buildingsEdit

Rank Name Street address Year Use
1 San Bernardino Justice Center West 3rd St., San Bernardino 2014 Government
2 Rosa Parks Memorial Building 464 West 4th St., San Bernardino 1998 Government
3 Hotel & Convention Center 295 North E St., San Bernardino 1987 Hotel
4 St. Bernardine Plaza Fifth St., San Bernardino Residential
5 Vanir Tower 290 North D St., San Bernardino 1974 Office
6 San Bernardino City Hall 300 North D St., San Bernardino Government
7 303 Building 303 West Third St. San Bernardino 1966 Government
8 The Heritage Building 440 W. Court St. San Bernardino 1946

Other buildingsEdit

American Sports University's Fox Theatre
  • San Bernardino Employment and Training Agency Building
  • Andreson Building
  • American Trust Building
  • Bank Of America Building
  • Wells Fargo Building
  • Chase Building
  • First American Title Building
  • Building 505
  • San Bernardino County Center Building
  • County of San Bernardino Court 2 Building in 3rd Street
  • County Records Tower
  • Vanir Tower
  • Norman F. Feldheym Central Library
  • Medrobrook Tower



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  2. ^ a b Advisory Services Panel (June 24–29, 2007). "San Bernardino, California: Crossroads of the Southwest". Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  4. ^ City of San Bernardino EDA, Pirih Productions, and Brostrom Software Solutions. "Downtown Core Vision". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
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  6. ^ "Courthouse construction begins - San Bernardino County Sun". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
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  14. ^ "FBI Searching California Lake in Connection to San Bernardino Shooting". ABC News. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ Karimi, Faith; Cabrera, Ana (December 13, 2015). "Items found in San Bernardino lake not related to attack, source says". CNN. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
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  18. ^ Juares, Leticia (2011-10-03). "CinemaStar theater multiplex an economic boon for San Bernardino". ABC 7 San Bernardinol. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  19. ^ LAURIE LUCAS (2011-01-14). "SAN BERNARDINO: Downtown cinema could open by fall". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  20. ^ "Grand Opening Locations | Regal Theaters". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
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  22. ^ Nolan, Michel (2008-03-02). "Librarian focuses on youth needs". San Bernardino County Sun. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  23. ^ Nolan, Michel (2006-12-07). "Librarian makes big mark beyond books". San Bernardino County Sun. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
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  25. ^ Schoenmann, Matt (2008-03-06). "Academy of Public Scholars is for Redlands bookworms seeking a challenge". Press Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
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  35. ^ "Airport execs still look to land airline, The Sun, April 2010". 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 

External linksEdit