WWII landmark in Riverside to be converted into disabled veterans apartments
by Rob McMillan
March 26th, 2015
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Residents in Riverside are restoring a World War II landmark by building apartments for service-disabled veterans.
Right in the middle of Riverside was Camp Anza, which was the last stop for about 600,000 U.S. Army soldiers before they headed off to combat.
After the war, the place fell into disrepair, and at one time it was close to being demolished.
But now, work is underway to not only renovate the piece of history, but make it valuable for veterans.
"We're in dire need of proper housing for our disabled heroes," Riverside City Councilman Jim Perry said.
Eyewitness News learned about this story thanks to the help of project superintendent Jim Watson, who shared it with us using the hashtag #ABC7Eyewitness.
"We get to come into the neighborhood and bring something back to life," Watson said.
WWII veteran Andy Melendrez, Sr. remembers Camp Anza well and said it was the place where countless soldiers got their "service-appropriate" haircuts.
Almost 70 years later, Melendrez is excited to hear about the renovations and the focus on veterans in need.
"There's a bunch of veterans out there that don't know what to do," he said.
If everything goes as planned, veterans and their families could be moving in to the renovated apartments around this time next year.