Former City Hall - Chipley, FL
N 30° 46.889 W 085° 32.401
16R E 639702 N 3406296
Quick Description: The former Chipley City Hall, now the home of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Information Center, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 2005.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 6/18/2011 7:14:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMBRTF
"Natives of Chipley know that if someone mentions the “Chipley City Hall”, “Public Library” or “Chamber of Commerce”, these names all refer to the one and the same building. The original City Hall, a Mediterranean revival styled building, is one of much character and history. Mrs. Cheryl Gainer McCall, City Council member, shares some of the building’s history with us: The story of this building came to fruition after the City of Chipley re-chartered in 1900 after their 1885 incorporation was declared invalid by the courts. In April 1928, the City Council approved to build a City Hall not to exceed the amount of $8,000. On November 28th, the Council accepted a bid of $7,640 from J.R. and Lee H. Buchanan to erect the City Hall Building. The council chose a rough red brick made by Interlocking Tiling Company in Jacksonville, Florida for a total cost of $18.74. It arrived in Chipley by railcar. The inner two layers of brick were made locally at Hall’s Brickyard.
The building was completed in the latter part of 1929. During this time, the Mayor acted as City Judge and prisoners were actually incarcerated in the cell on the first floor of the building until 1954. From 1929-1978 the building housed the City. In 1981, the City moved out and the Chamber moved in.
In 2004 Jon Carn, Project Manager and Director of Architecture at POLY, began Phase I of the City Hall Historic Preservation project, consisting mainly of repairs to the exterior envelope of the building. The exterior brick was cleaned and repaired in accordance to the Division of Historical Resources Guidelines for Historic cleaning, which requires the bricks to be scrubbed with a course bristle brush and soap- pressure washing is not permitted. Windows and doors were cleaned and made operational. All of the windows had broken or missing glass, which was replaced with salvaged glass from a State approved supplier.
The roof was repaired as well, which included structural repairs to a failed rafter, new singles and copper flashing. The heavy weight of the original slate shingles contributed to the structural failure of the building. A suitable substitute for the slate was needed. The Project team selected EcoStar tile, which is made from 100 percent recycled tires. EcoStar was the first US Green Building Council approved roofing product and this project was the first time the product was approved for use on a state historical project in Florida.
Following the renovations, The Historic Woman’s Club of Chipley submitted an application to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. In April of 2005 approval was received and the Old City Hall became the third property in Chipley added to the National Historic Register.
POLY began Phase II of the project in early 2007. This phase was considerably larger than the first and encompassed the complete rehabilitation of the building’s interior, including HVAC, electrical and communications systems, plumbing, and accessibility improvements. The design and interior layout was modified to accommodate the new tenant, The Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
The interior wood floors were sanded and patched, using wood taken from other areas of the building for the repairs. One challenge faced during the rehabilitation involved the exit stairs inside of the building. The original stairs were built to serve the fireman sleeping quarters and were only accessible from the exterior. The stair tread and riser configuration had to be modified to meet new exit code requirements. However, the modified layout would not fit in the original stair opening. In order to retain the building’s exterior appearance, POLY’s design included a right-angle to the stair, discharging the stairs to a new space on the ground with a pre-existing exterior door.
All of the original interior surfaces were repaired where possible and new finishes were crafted to match all of the original textures. The original wood floors were stripped and refinished. All of the wood trim for the wall base, door trim and crown molds were custom fabricated from original profiles."