Orange City Hall was originally the home of E.W. Brown, Jr., a prominent Orange businessman and philanthropist in Orange, TX.
The structure was constructed in 1924 and stands adjacent to the original site of the home that once belonged to his father, E.W. Brown, Sr., also a prominent Orange businessman. The City of Orange purchased the building in 1944.
A great deal of renovations were made to the building to transform it from a residence to an office building, however, the renovation did not preserve a lot of the structure's historical character. By the early 1970s the room, which originally was Brown's study and later named the Mayor's Study, was the only room in the building that had not undergone major structural changes. In an undertaking known as the Bicentennial Project, the room was restored to its original condition. Brown even donated his furnishings to recreate the original appearance of the room.
The fireplace mantel was taken out of the room when the building was purchased by the City of Orange. Brown personally selected a firm to reassemble the mantel. The pieces, some of which weighed more than one ton, were brought in through windows. The workmen made a mistake in assembling the mantle pieces, which can be seen today along the borders of the mantel picture. Because he was in failing health and had poor eyesight, Brown never noticed the defect.
City Hall Offices Today
The building's remaining rooms now function as offices. The Personnel office and Billing and Collection office are located on the first floor of the building. The offices of the City Manager, City Secretary, and Finance Department are located on the second floor.