Page & Turnbull, a world-renowned architectural firm that has worked on cutting-edge projects all over California, has been chosen to provide architectural services for the new Cheech Marin Center of Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in downtown Riverside. Page & Turnbull is including a group of consultants on its team, including the architectural firm wHY.

The Riverside City Council voted on Tuesday, October 24, to approve a $100,000 professional services agreement with the firm to complete the first phase of work to renovate the existing downtown Main Library into the Cheech Marin Center. The Main Library is being relocated to a new facility a few blocks away.

Page & Turnbull recently was ranked first among 11 high-caliber applicants by an interview panel that included Marin and representatives from the City of Riverside and the Riverside Art Museum (RAM). Page & Turnbull is expected to include on its team a group of consultants, including wHY, Searock & Stafford, Design West Engineering, and Horton Lees Brogden.

“I am very confident that the firm of Page & Turnbull, along with wHY, is quite capable of transforming the Main Library into the first and only international center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry,” Cheech Marin said. “This is one of the important steps to position Riverside as the next great ‘Art Town’. Hello world, here we come!”

Page & Turnbull is an architectural design, planning, and preservation firm with more than 40 years of experience bringing new life to historic buildings. Notable projects include: Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Antelope Valley Indian Museum, Lancaster; Ferry Building, San Francisco; and many more. wHY’s projects include the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, and Institute for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others.

“The incredible promise of the Cheech Marin Center is reflected in the extremely high quality of architects and consultants who expressed great interest in leading this transformation,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Riverside is poised to take a huge step forward on this very important project.”

Page & Turnbull, established in 1973 as Charles Hall Page & Associates, employs licensed architects, designers and historians, conservators and planners. The firm was one of the first in California to dedicate itself to historic preservation and is among the longest-practicing such firms in the country.

“We are very pleased with this selection,” says Lucile Arntzen, RAM Board President. “RAM’s mission is about engaging the residents of our diverse communities in joyfully authentic, relevant, and dynamic, participatory cultural experiences, and we believe that Page & Turnbull and their amazing team can deliver a ‘reborn facility’ that brings people together through the arts.”

Page & Turnbull, in partnership with wHY, understands that art centers need to inspire wonder and be a space of production as well as presentation, RAM representatives said. The firm believes architecture and design play a pivotal role in making visitors feel welcome, while empowering them to explore and create, and changing their perceptions from “museum as temple to museum as cultural playground.”

“Page & Turnbull and wHY’s approach to the renovation mirrors many of the conversations about visitor experience and engagement we’ve been having at RAM,” says Todd Wingate, RAM Curator of Exhibitions and Collections. “We’re really confident that their understanding of our goals will fulfill the vision RAM, the City, and Cheech share about the Center.”

The City of Riverside has been working with RAM through much of this year to move the vision of the Cheech Marin Center toward reality. In May, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RAM and Marin to determine the project’s feasibility. That MOU requires the City to hire consultants and work with RAM and Marin to develop a facility assessment, art center programming, conceptual plans, and rough cost estimates.

The $100,000 included in Phase 1 of the project will pay for the items required in the MOU, as well as public presentations and preparation of preliminary cost estimates for Phase 2 of the effort. The Phase 1 work will be used to market and raise funds for the project, which ultimately is expected to cost $7 million to $10 million.

The City of Riverside, RAM, and Marin, working with local state legislators, already have obtained $1 million in funding from the State of California. RAM is conducting an extensive campaign to generate donations to meet a goal of $3 million by the end of February 2018.

“The Cheech Marin Center has generated a great deal of excitement about the future of our city’s arts scene,” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Perry said. “I look forward to the work being done in Phase 1 of this project giving a major boost to the fundraising effort by creating an even more vivid picture of the artistic excellence this project will embrace.”