In the Grand neighborhood Tequesquite Avenue runs along the Tequesquite Arroyo, Riverside's largest Arroyo. The name is derived from the Aztec "tetl", meaning rock, and "quixquitl" meaning efflorescent. Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza led his expeditions through the arroyo to the Santa Ana River in 1774 and 1775-1776.
Grand was an original part of Riverside’s 53 square miles, but the neighborhood has grown twice in the past century. Two annexations, one in 1955 and the other in 1969, established the northern boundary of the neighborhood. The topography of the area has shaped the street design, giving the blocks irregular shapes, and it has created ideal land for recreation. Only about half of the neighborhood is developed, the other half is devoted to open space and the now-closed sanitary landfill. The residential blocks that comprise the southern half of Grand are an even mix between medium and low density uses. Grand offers both hillside homes with beautiful views of the Santa Ana River and heavily landscaped neighborhoods with a very cozy and protective character. The latter character is a reflection and continuation of the Wood Streets, which border Grand in the northeast.
A fair number of the homes here were built prior to 1950 and development peaked in the decade following World War Two. The limited land in Grand has prevented much further development. Tequesquite Park marks the northern edge of this neighborhood and the Martha McLean Anza Narrows Park marks the southwestern edge. Grand has an amazing variety of terrain, with hills in the east, flat lands in the center and a steep slope down into the Santa Ana River basin. This mix offers great opportunities for outdoor recreation.
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