Orange Public Library & History Center’s 10th Anniversary

Composite photo of Orange Library buildings

The current renovated and expanded Orange Public Library & History Center was dedicated April 21, 2007. This new library building marked a continued commitment by donors and the City of Orange to providing exemplary library services to the community. We celebrated the tenth anniversary of the new building in 2017 by highlighting historical events throughout the Library’s history. You can read our tenth anniversary report here. 

First established with three hundred volumes donated by Orange Postmaster Robert E. Tener in 1885, the Orange Public Library Association housed its collection in the Orange Hotel (formerly Plaza Hotel) on the Plaza. After the OPLA donated its collection to the City of Orange, civic leaders established the Orange Free Public Library in 1894. Within a decade, the library had reached full capacity and the building’s owner wished to demolish it to make room for a commercial block. In response, the City relocated the library collection from the Orange Hotel to recently vacated space in the Dobner Block. With funding from the Carnegie Foundation, Orange then began construction on a Carnegie library building in 1905. This stately new library opened to the community in 1908 with approximately 3,500 volumes.

Ever since, a library building has continued to reside at the same location on East Chapman Avenue. The Library has undergone a variety of changes over the years, as the community and the collection have grown. The City replaced the Carnegie building with a larger, more modern building in 1961, after the collection briefly resided in a grocery store building. The Library underwent extensive renovation and remodeling in 1999, reflecting the needs of a flourishing community. Shortly after the 1999 renovations, the Library obtained a $9.13 million Library Bond Act for a new library project. That completed project became the new Spanish Colonial Revival building for the Orange Public Library & History Center in 2007.