New Collection: Jones High School Historical Museum Collection

Located in the Parramore/Lorna Doone neighborhood of downtown Orlando, Jones High School – OCPS was the first area public school for African-Americans. The original building was located on the corner of Garland Avenue and Church Street, but the school was renamed the Johnson Academy and moved to a new building on the corner of Chatham Avenue and West Jefferson Street. In 1921, the school was renamed in honor Principal L. C. Jones and a brick colonial revival building was constructed on the corner of Parramore Avenue and Washington Street. The school was finally moved to its current location at 801 South Rio Grande Avenue in 1952.

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New Additions to the Orlando Gay Chorus Collection!

The OGC allowed RICHES to digitize their concert programs going all the way back to their very first performance! Follow the link below to browse through some of the earlier programs and check back soon for more additions!

New Collection: Hillcrest Elementary School Collection

Hillcrest Elementary School is one of Orlando’s oldest schools, opening in 1923. Since the 1980s, it has had a vibrant foreign language component and today it continues that tradition through the Orange County Public Schools Foreign Language Academy.

Visit our Hillcrest Elementary Collection:

Happy Holidays from RICHES!

Happy Holidays from all of us at RICHES!

Check out this Army Air Forces menu created for Christmas of 1943, from the private collection of Thomas Cook. The cover shows Santa Claus piloting an airplane over an airbase. There are illustrations of a decorated Christmas tree, a palm tree and what appears to be orange trees.

New Exhibit: The Building and Beyond: Orlando’s Post Office and Its Evolving Community

From its construction onward, the Downtown Orlando Post Office has been a physical symbol of the growing and evolving city that surrounds it. Opened in 1941, the post office experienced many changes that reflected national and local social and economic transformations. Demographic shifts, wars, economic booms and downturns, and social conflicts were reflected in the history of the Orlando Post Office. This exhibit examines the impact of some of these changes on the building itself and the people who worked there or used the agency’s services. Viewing the building over time allows us to see the impact it had on Orlando and to glimpse a reflection of the city itself. The post office building was more than just a government edifice; it became a symbol of the city that surrounds it.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Orlando was remarkably different from the city that is is today. The local economy, which relied on the citrus industry, had survived two devastating freezes in the winter of 1894-1895 to develop into a bustling town by 1900. As growth continued in the 1910s and 1920s, Orlando faced numerous infrastructural and logistical challenges. When the post office at Jefferson Street was conceived in the mid-1930s, it became a symbol of economic revitalization that the city sorely needed in the depths of the Great Depression.

To explore this exhibit, please visit

New Collection: Parramore Collection

Bordered on the east by Division Street and on the west by Orange Blossom Trail (OBT), the Parramore began as an agricultural community. Parramore was historically a segregated African-American community and now comprises three separate downtown neighborhoods: Lake Dot, Callahan, and Holden-Parramore.

Once an economically thriving area and the home of many prominent black businesses and institutions, including the Wells’ Built Hotel, South Street Casino, and Wallace’s Beauty Mill, Parramore suffered under Jim Crow segregation, and has lost 65 percent of its population in the last 50 years. It is now one of Orlando’s poorest neighborhoods, with an unemployment rate of 23.8 percent in 2015. However, neighborhood institutions like the Well’s Built Museum of African American History and Culture, housed in the historic Wells’ Built Hotel, have worked to preserve memorabilia from Orlando’s African-American community and the local civil rights movement. Current plans to revitalize the Parramore area focus on maintaining its black heritage and culture while building new businesses, schools, and improved housing.

To explore this collection, please visit

New Collection: Orlando City Hall Collection

Historic artifacts from an exhibit created by Orlando Remembered at the Orlando City Hall, located at 400 South Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando, Florida. This exhibit houses objects relating to Orlando’s municipal government. The current building opened in July of 1991. The former city hall was located directly in front of current building and was in operation from 1958 to 1991. The exhibit features photographs and memorabilia from past Orlando mayors dating back to 1932.

Orlando Remembered is a community based group, dedicated to the preservation of Downtown Orlando’s past. To date, the group has constructed 18 exhibits in the downtown area that highlight the current building’s connection to the past.

To view this collection, please visit

New Collection: Westinghouse Electric Collection

Originally called the Westinghouse Electric Company, George Westinghouse (1846-1914) founded his manufacturing company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 8, 1886. In 1889, he renamed his business the The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. Westinghouse’s primary products include turbines, generators, motors and switchgear related to the generation, transmission, and use of electricity. The company changed its name to Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1945. In 1981, the company began to relocate its divison headquarters for the Steam-Turbine Generator Divisions from Pennsylvania (turbines from Lester and generators from Pittsburgh) to Orlando, Florida. The Power Generation Business Unit (PGBU) building was located in The Quadrangle, at 4400 Alafaya Trail. Originally, Westinghouse had purchased a large plot of land for future development that extended westward from Alafaya Trail to Rouse Road. The original headquarters was located on several acres of that land parcel close to Alafaya Trail.

In 1994, after a major corporate management shuffling, and a top-level decision to change from an industrial manufacturing company to primarily a broadcasting/communications company, Westinghouse bought the CBS Network and changed its name to the CBS Corporation. As the PGBU grew in size, other buildings in the area were leased and then, after PGBU was sold to Siemens Corporation of Germany in 1998, additional buildings (Quad II and Quad III) were added to the original complex at the Quadrangle. From 1998 to 2003 the Orlando operation was known as Siemens-Westinghouse, after which the name of Westinghouse was dropped. The operation has been known as Siemens from that time forward.

To view the collection, please visit

New Additions to the Rock Collection

The Rock Collection explores the history of rock music in Central Florida. Items in this collection were curated by UCF graduate Geoffrey Cravero and include photographs, newspaper articles, ticket stubs, and videos. These new items were donated to RICHES from the private collection of professional photographer Alicia Lyman and features the following local bands and artists: Beeb$ and Her Money Makers, Gargamel!, JunkieRush, Kaleigh Baker and the Downgetters, The Legendary JC’s, Meka Nism, MILKA, Sunny Raskin, and The Supervillains.

Lone Sailor Navy Memorial History Project Collection

Collection of digital images and oral histories related to the former Recruit Training Center Orlando (RTC Orlando) for the United States Navy. The training center transformed raw recruits into highly effective sailors. This process took place over an intensive eight-week training period, commonly referred to as “boot camp.” RTC Orlando occupied roughly one half of the former Naval Training Center Orlando (NTC Orlando), which was located at present day Baldwin Park, Orlando, Florida. Between 1968 and 1994, over 650,000 men and women graduated from RTC Orlando.

To view the collection on the interactive map, click here.