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Orlando Public Library Dedication 1966

Dedication of the Orlando Public Library – Sunday, August 7, 1966

The Orlando Public Library at Ten North Rosalind was dedicated on Sunday afternoon, August 7, 1966. Mayor Robert S. Carr cut the ribbon and presented the building to the people of Orlando. The dedication, at 2 p.m., was followed by an open house hosted by members of the Friends of the Library with music provided by Orlando Local 389 of the American Federation of Musicians.

Two years in the making

Two years prior, in May 1964, the Albertson library was emptied and relocated to a temporary site at 905 North Orange Avenue. In September 1964, the old Albertson library was demolished and site preparation began for the construction of the new Orlando Public Library.

The annual reports for 1961-1964, 1965-1966, and 1966-1967 tell the story of the planning, construction and completion of the new Orlando Public Library.

Your New Library — Be Proud of It!

The August 6th Orlando Sentinel article “Your New Library — Be Proud of It!” announced the opening:

It’s beautiful! And it’s yours! The new Orlando Public Library, that is, at Ten North Rosalind Avenue, and it opens for business Monday morning, following a dedication ceremony and Open House Sunday afternoon. To which you,  you, and you are invited… “Books are our business” is the motto of Director Clara Wendel and her staff of 100 full-time and part-time coworkers, and everything has been geared to develop this business for your enjoyment and pleasure — the more business the happier these folks are.

It continues to describe the new library’s interior space, resources and staff in vivid detail, including the “cave-like book delivery service elevator into which one just rolls the whole book truck with its load for other floors, [and] the concrete walls, interior supports and balconies, which convey the feeling of permanence and medieval strength.”

Orlando’s Library Opens

An editorial in the Orlando Evening Star on Monday, August 8th, under the banner “Orlando’s Library Opens,” speaks of the impressive $1.7 million library’s brutalist architecture.

To some the building is not an object of beauty — its concrete walls appear pitted, but that’s the way it was planned.

“It will grow on you,” said C. DeWitt Miller, president of the library  board.
“It’s a landmark,” said James Deen, president of Florida’s architects group.
“It will make Orlando famous,” the Miami architect said after an inspection.

Dedication Brochure

The brochure created for the dedication is jam packed with information on the building’s construction, capacities and costs.

It lists all the architects, consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, building materials suppliers, landscapers, and suppliers of furnishings! In addition, the dedication booklet lists the Orlando City Council, Library Board, Orange County Commissioners and the County Library Advisory Committee members, and the Friends of the Library members who contributed to the purchase of the six-person listening station for the library. Lt. Colonel and Mrs. [Dorothy] H. Bascomb Melrose, in whose memory, the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity is named, are listed as contributors.

Special Edition of the Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Sentinel published a special insert for the grand opening of the new Orlando Public Library for the Sunday, August 7, 1966 edition. The publication provides a detailed history of the library, the construction of the new building, décor, furnishings and special collections, like the art reproductions available for home use in the Fine Arts Department!

Photographs feature members of the library staff, library board, County Library Advisory Committee, City Council, Orlando Commissioners, Friends of the Library, including the Shader Brothers, Stan, Charlie and Ron, Robert Johnson, Mr. & Mrs. James MacMahon, Mrs. James G. Stokes, Miss Sunny Stokes, Mr. Irving Slott,  Mrs. Relda Daniel, Mrs. Eileen Willis, Miss Eleanor Robinson, Commissioner John Newsom, Charles T. Brumback, William J. Capehart, Miss Mabelle O’Neal, C. DeWitt Miller, Miss Dorothy Skipper, Mrs. Hamilton Clark, Jr., Mrs. Richard G. Jolley, John B. Newsom, Claude R. Edwards, Mrs. Florence Fishback, Mrs. Richard Jolley, Mrs. J. Brian Wood, Mr. Bert Roper, Mrs. Ara Atherton, Mrs. H. Nelson Axton, Mrs. Anne Keeler, Mrs. Helen Watson, John B. Newsom, George A. Barker, Douglas Barnes, W. M. Sanderlin and Mayor Robert S. “Bob” Carr.

Peruse the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel for the grand opening of the Orlando Public Library on Sunday, August 7, 1966.

 

A Statement of Program for a New Main Building – Albertson Public Library

Three years before the jubilant grand opening of the new Orlando Public Library, Frank B. Sessa of the Dade County Library System was commissioned to report on the needs for the new Main library. He created an extensive document entitled, “A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida.”  The document traces the history of Orlando and the library from its founding to 1963. For history buffs and library fans, it is certainly worth the read. Due to the length, the document was scanned in three parts.

Part one

Chapter I: The Public Library
Chapter II: The Community: Its Background and Resources
Chapter III: The Albertson Public Library

Part two

Chapter IV: The Proposed New Building
Chapter V: Space Allocation and Equipment

Part three

Chapter VI: Branch Library Program
Chapter VII: A Check-List of Miscellaneous Details
Chapter VIII: Future Expansion of Proposed Building

Read more about the History of the Orange County Library System.

View the images and documents below.

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A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa

Cover A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa.

Orlando Public Library Dedication brochure

Brochure cover for the Dedication of the Orlando Public Library on August 7, 1966.

Dedication Ceremony Schedule

The Dedication Ceremony for the opening of the Orlando Public Library August 7, 1966.

Friends of the Library contributors

List of the Friends of the Library who contributed to the purchase of a six-person listening center to allow patrons to listen...

Your New Library -- Be proud of it!

Orlando Sentinel, Friday or Saturday, August 5th or 6th. No page number on microfilm; precedes the front page of the August 6th...

Orlando's Library Opens

Orlando Evening Star, August 8, 1966, page 8A.

OPL 1966

1966 Orlando Public Library from Rosalind Street looking south.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

From the special insert to the Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1966.

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A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa

A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa, Miami, Florida 1963. Scanned in three parts; part one of three.


A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa

A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa, Miami, Florida 1963. Scanned in three parts; part two of three.


A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa

A Statement of Program for a new Main Building, Albertson Public Library, Orlando, Florida by Frank B. Sessa, Miami, Florida 1963. Scanned in three parts; part three of three.


Orlando Public Library Dedication brochure

Brochure for the Dedication of the Orlando Public Library on August 7, 1966.


Your New Library - Be Proud Of It!

Orlando Sentinel, August 5th or 6th, 1966 (no page number), precedes the August 6, 1966 front page on the microfilm.


Orlando's Library Opens

Evening Star Editorials, August 8, 1966, page 8A.


1961-1964 Annual Report

Reports the demolition of the Albertson Public Library and beginning of the new Orlando Public Library.


1964-1965 Annual Report

Reports the progress on the new building and completion date.


1965-1966

Reports the opening of the new Orlando Public Library.


Friends of the Library Contributors

Friends of the Library members who contributed to the purchase of the six-person listening station for the new library, including the parents of Mr. Ken Melrose.


Orlando Sentinel Special insert, August 7, 1966

Sunday, August 7, 1966, special insert to the Orlando Sentinel for the grand opening of the Orlando Public Library.


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