A LOOK AT OUR HISTORY
The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association (ORHPA) is a nonprofit historical society founded in 1999 to preserve and educate the public about Oak Ridge’s unique and rich technical and cultural history, and to work to preserve selected historical buildings of the WWII city and nuclear installations.
ORHPA began in September 1999 after the demolition of Charlotte and Cheyenne Halls, the last of the original 92 full-sized dormitories. A group of concerned citizens met to discuss the loss of Oak Ridge’s historic buildings. They began meeting monthly to discuss promoting Oak Ridge heritage and preservation. ORHPA received its charter from the state as an official 501c3 non-profit in January 2000.
In February 2000, ORHPA contacted the Oak Ridge City Manager, about their concerns over the future of Midtown Community Center/Wildcat Den which had recently been used as a senior center by the city. After many meetings and public awareness efforts, ORHPA was able to purchase and preserve the Midtown Community Center/Wildcat Den from the City of Oak Ridge for $1.
Today, the Midtown Community Center/Wildcat Den is home of the Oak Ridge History Museum.