The referendum to expand the Orlando Public Library was approved on September 9, 1980, and construction began in December 1982. Construction on the library expansion was completed in March 1985, expanding the library’s boundaries to the entire block bordered by East Central Boulevard, Rosalind Avenue, Magnolia Avenue and Wall Street. An open house and tour of the new library expansion took place on May 29, 1985.
Almost immediately, work on renovating the original 1966 building began. Construction was completed in March 1986 and a grand opening celebration for the entire building was held from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday April 6, 1986. A special insert in the Orlando Sentinel heralded the opening.
At the time of the completion in 1986, Glenn F. Miller was the library Director, Anita W. Heard was business manager and the Orange County Library Board of Trustees included John B. Newsom, Albert C. Valdes, Paul Pickett, Corbin Sarchet, Helen Johnson, Mary Jo Hoard, and Peter C. Barr.
Some of the key players in the expansion were architectural firm Schweizer Incorporated and design architect L. Duane Stark; contractor Great Southwest Corporation; mechanical/electrical engineers Tilden, Lobnitz & Cooper, and structural engineers Gensert, Bretnall, Bobel, Inc.
A booklet created for the grand opening of the newly expanded library was underwritten by the Friends of the Orlando Public Library, featuring photographs by Bob Braun. The brochure pages are presented here.
Check out the IMAGES and DOCUMENTS below!