The Old Orange County Courthouse located at 65 East Central Boulevard was built in 1927. When the red-brick courthouse was demolished in 1957, the Board of County Commissioners established a historical commission to carry the work begin in 1942, leading eventually to the 1976 opening of Orange County Historical Museum in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. In 1989, the courthouse was recognized as a historically significant landmark and a task force was appointed to determine the best possible re-use of the building. The plan to renovate the existing courthouse for use as The History Center was endorsed by the Board of County Commissioners in 1993 and the design process began in 1995, the new courthouse was completed in 1997 and the 1960’s annex that stood in what is now Heritage Square Courtyard was destroyed the next year. Renovations to the building began in 1999 and The History Center opened its doors in September of 2000.
Orange County Regional History Center includes an exhibit for the tragic mass shooting that occurred at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. All of the memorial items will end up at the at the Center, that it meticulously being done with dignity. Michael Perkins, the museum manager says that “the memorials in honor of the Pulse victims are slowly coming down, but they are not going far away, we are certainly not working just to take them away from the site, we are working to preserve them, to collect them and preserve them so they can be put to future use.” The history center’s collection team selects items one by one, the chief curator photographs it in its original position and gently takes it away, the items are then logged and cleaned, removing any dirt or candle wax before being boxed and taken away. The team intends to collect everything, even though the weather has taken a toll on some items, plastic or laminate is removed from cards so moisture from the rain can dry out, all of the flowers will be turned into soil and used in gardens throughout the city. So far over 1,700 items have been collected. Perkins says “The Pulse shooting will always be a part of our history, but so is the community’s response. We are collecting and preserving the memories of how the community responded.”
BUNDY BROKE HIS PATTERN IN LEACH KILLING. (1989). Retrieved October 07, 2016, from http://www.deseretnews.com/article/31861/BUNDY-BROKE-HIS-PATTERN-IN-LEACH-KILLING.html?pg=all
The Orange County Regional History Center - Visit Us - Our History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 07, 2016, from https://web.archive.org/web/20090302051954/http://www.thehistorycenter.org/visit/?art=history
(n.d.). The Story of the History Center. Retrieved October 07, 2016, from http://www.thehistorycenter.org/about/history-center/
Washington, E. (2016). Pulse memorial will live on at Orange County Regional History Center. Retrieved October 07, 2016, from http://www.clickorlando.com/news/pulse-memorial-will-live-on-at-orange-county-regional-history-center