CHIPLEY - It could be said the thing that made it distinctively Chipley's was also the cause for its end.
"One of the things that we're most proud of are the bricks - they were made in Chipley," said Washington County Historic Society President Dorothy Odom. "It's because it was made from the bricks that were made in Chipley that it's going - because they crumble."
Crews are demolishing the building on State Road 77 in downtown that originally housed Chipley Light and Power and the city's ice plant. Several months ago, the Chipley City Council approved about $10,000 to have the building demolished, citing it was too costly to maintain or restore the building.
The building was built in 1913 and became the venue for a number of public services. According to Elaine Engram, whose father once worked for CPL, the building housed the County Public Health unit, public library, a jewelry store, Council on Aging and the city police department.
Perhaps one of its most notable uses came in 1926 when Gulf Power Company purchased Chipley Light and Power Company, which made Gulf Power become "an actual operating public utility," according to the company's website.
In the 1960's, a fire burnt the north end of the building. The historical society operated out of the building from 1986 to 2011.
Odom said the organization learned it would cost upwards of $250,000 to restore the building - money no one has.
However, the city along with the historical society are planning something special to be made in memoriam. Odom requested some wood be retrieved from the building to be used in a historical display.
"We were thinking of a walking park - a gazebo or structure there - for people who walk downtown streets maybe to sit and rest," said Chipley Mayor John Sasser. "There were all kind of ideas of what we can do with the area."
"It was the site of the first well for the water system in Chipley, and, of course the first water tower," he added, reflecting on the building's history early Tuesday morning.
Almost every rendering, painting and picture of the building is the same - a tall all-white structure with dark-colored awnings. Soon, the structure will no longer be there.
"It was a building that served as our community center for the community for so long," said Odom said. "It was all things that drew the community in."
"And it would still today if it wasn't for the integrity of the building."