The Anderson-Price Memorial Building

The Anderson-Price Memorial Building
The Anderson-Price Memorial Building

On January 9, 1891, when Ormond was less than 20 years old, a group of residents met in the Union Church to create a community service organization whose goals were “to promote neatness and order in the village, to do whatever may lead to improve and beautify our town as a place of residence and keep it in a healthful condition.” The Village Improvement Association (VIA) was formed by a group of women. A few men joined the first year, but members voted for it to be an all-women’s club the second year.

In 1894, the VIA purchased the property where the Anderson-Price Memorial Building now stands for $1,200. The property consisted of a store building with an attached residence. Ormond’s library was moved from its Lincoln Avenue location to the storefront. Mrs. Elisha Pinkerton, widow of the town’s first minister and founder of the Union Church, lived in the residence as payment for her services as the librarian.

In 1912, the VIA began plans for the construction of the Anderson-Price Memorial Building to be used as both a library and a meeting place for the VIA and other community groups. Gail Borden, husband of one of the leaders of the VIA, commissioned the famed New York architect, Ogden Codman Jr., to design the building. Mr. Codman rendered several possible choices, but the VIA chose not to use any of his plans. Mr. Borden then commissioned Meredith E. Fidler to design the building. Although the plans by both architects differed, both were in the Colonial Revival style.

In late July 1915, George Carlton was hired as construction superintendant for the new building. On November 26, 1915, the VIA held its first meeting in the unfinished room that would become the library. By January 7, 1916, the VIA had spent $6,115.83 as the construction was close to being finished. By the start of 1917, approximately $8,000 had been spent to construct and furnish the building. The VIA owned the building free and clear because all funds had come from donations and fundraisers. This magnificent structure was later named in honor of John Anderson and Joseph Price, prominent members of the community and builders of the Hotel Ormond in1888.

Upon entering the double doors, the room on the right was the library and the room on the left was the reading room. At the end of the hall was a large auditorium with a stage used by the VIA for its meetings. The building was rented to other groups to defray the costs of running such a large building.

In 1958, the VIA changed its name to the Ormond Beach Woman’s Club. In 1963, a kitchen and tearoom were added to the rear of the building. The town library remained in the building until 1969, when Ormond Beach built the new library in its present location near City Hall. The Woman’s Club donated all its books plus $1,000 for new books to the new library. In 2002, the Woman’s Club deeded the Anderson-Price Memorial Building to the Ormond Beach Historical Society with the right of use as long as the organization exists.

Today, the Ormond Beach Historical Society maintains the Anderson-Price Memorial Building and rents the building to residents and groups for social and business uses. Just as in the past, the funds received are used to maintain the building. Displays of Ormond Beach history are in cases throughout the building. Historical Society meetings as well as historical programs are held in the Anderson-Price Memorial Building.

The Anderson-Price Memorial Building is a rare example of early 20th century architecture that has survived with few changes to its original appearance. It remains a community resource as designated by its founders.

The APMB is available for rent for both business and social events. For more information click on Building Rental.