Using redevelopment funds, RCCD renovated the two-story building, restoring the Spanish Baroque facade to its original condition, expanding interior floor space for art displays and interactive didactics, creating a secure art storage space, a digital media vault (by repurposing the original bank vault on the ground floor), and developing spaces for a Kid’s Education Zone, scholarly research and meetings.
The Okubo Collection formed the basis for the inaugural programming, and occupies much of the second story. Below, museum consultants designed and constructed Riverside Stories, a series of exhibitions showcasing local individuals who championed civil rights and other social justice changes in 20th century America.
The Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties is located in what will become The RCCD Renaissance Block--a downtown cultural square that will encompass the Center, the Riverside City Arts Academy, and the Henry W. and Alice Edna Coil School for the Arts.
The $5.5 million project was completed on June 27, 2012, just 12 months after guests gathered to observe the unveiling of the unrestored facade. A special preview opening was held that day, attracting more than 500 guests including the Okubo family, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta (himself a World War II camp internee), the Counsul General of Japan in Los Angeles, and local dignitaries. The event celebrated what would have been Miné Okubo’s 100th birthday.