The Hunt Branch Library building is a significant mid-century modernist structure owned by the City of Fullerton. We believe it is in imminent danger of being sold, and have organized a group of private citizens to ensure that the building remains in the hands of the people of Fullerton, and used to benefit the community.
The William Pereira designed Hunt Branch Library was a gift to the City of Fullerton from the Norton Simon Foundation in 1962. For decades it served as only one of two branches of the Fullerton Public Library, until being closed in 2013 and eventually leased to neighboring Grace Ministries International (GMI) for $ 1,500.00 per month. This arrangement was said to be temporary while GMI renovated their adjacent headquarters, the former Hunt Food & Industries headquarters, also designed by Pereira. However, the lease has continued through 2018. When the lease was approved, the public was promised that the city would support efforts to obtain historic preservation status for the structure. After several years, the Hunt Branch Library received recognition from The National Registry of Historic Places.
While he was a member of the Fullerton City Council, current 4th District Supervisor Doug Chaffee repeatedly said that he favored selling the library. Current Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald has also voiced support for the idea. It would only take three members of the council to approve a sale. Save the Hunt adamantly opposed the inclusion of the Hunt building on a list of city properties to be considered for sale, and were ultimately successful in having it removed from that list.
Our efforts led to the formation of the Library Ad Hoc Committee, which met several times in 2018 to recommend what to do with the Hunt. Their recommendation was for a literary and cultural use for the facility. In 2019 The City Council approved the release of a Request for Proposals to propose uses for the site.
We believe that the Hunt Library building can be used in any number of ways to directly benefit the community for many years to come. This precious gift to our city should not be thrown away for a one time windfall. We invite you to join us by following this blog and contacting us to become involved in this effort to preserve an architectural gem and an irreplaceable community asset.