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Carrabelle’s old City Hall wins Preservation Award

Special to the Times

One of the most longstanding efforts of the Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership over the past 12 years has been the restoration of Carrabelle’s Old City Hall and its reuse as the Carrabelle History Museum.

The partnership between the City of Carrabelle and the Carrabelle Historical Society was recognized on Thursday, July 30 by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation with a 2020 Florida Preservation Award. These awards recognize people, organizations and communities who have worked to protect Florida’s extraordinary history and heritage.

The Florida Preservation Award “nominations were made by the public with recipients selected by a jury from around the state representing a variety of backgrounds and experiences” according to the press release from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Although we are living in unprecedented times, it was important to us to continue our work recognizing excellence in historic preservation in our state,” said Florida Trust Board President Friederike Mittner. “Thank you to our award winners for all they do for preservation in our state.”

Now home to the Carrabelle History Museum, Carrabelle’s original City Hall was constructed in the 1930s Depression era by Marvin N. Justiss, a local mason. He used handmade concrete blocks and bricks. The building, a two-story brick vernacular style of that period, was described at the time of its construction as one of the finest buildings in the state for a city of this size.

“The restoration of this vital part of Carrabelle’s history was and is an important achievement,” said Tamara Allen, director of the Carrabelle Historical Society and the museum. “The mission of the Carrabelle Historical Society is to preserve the history and culture of Carrabelle and to serve as an inspiration for the future. Rehabilitating the Old City Hall, such a significant anchor in the heart of our historical downtown, is a meaningful part of that mission.”

This project’s success was due to a true cooperative effort of the society, the city, the Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership, the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, MLD Architects and Godfrey Builders.

According to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, “The project promotes the concept that sustainability of a historic site begins with its ability to engage its community. The historic Carrabelle City Hall is not only significant for its longstanding association with the history of Florida, but also because of its past and future legacy of a commitment to serve, teach, inspire and support both current and future generations.”

For more information, contact the museum at 697-2141, email carrabellehistorymuseum@gmail.com. Or visit www.floridatrust.org

The present-day Carrabelle History Museum
The way Carrabelle City Hall looked 75 years ago