Old Dade City Hall razed as new facility planned
DADE CITY -
Demolition of the former City Hall building in Dade City began May 1 as an excavator took a bite out of the first floor. Demolition was completed on Monday and cleanup is ongoing.
The building had housed the City Hall of Dade City since the 1940s. Demolishing City Hall cost about $91,600.
Cross Construction Services Inc. of Lutz, used the excavator to tear down small portions until the front of the building on Meridian Avenue was pulled backward onto the debris.
The building was originally intended to be six floors when construction began in 1928, according to Doug Sanders, a former city planner and amateur historian.
Work stopped at three floors when finances dried up during the Great Depression and the building was abandoned until it was completed as a Works Progress Administration project in the 1930s.
Beginning in 1940, the building was used as City Hall. It also housed the local civil defense, the jail, a bank and the meeting place for the local school board.
“Just about everything was jammed in that building at one time,” Sanders said.
City Manager Billy Poe had the cornerstone from building removed some time ago and intends to have it built into a small monument made with similar stone used in the old building.
The city plans to sod the property and await the opportunity to build a new City Hall.
Dade City staff is currently spread in offices at the City Hall annex building, the police station and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot on the U.S. 98/301 Bypass.
Building a new City Hall was the top priority of the Dade City commissioners at a meeting in March. The commissioners asked Poe to pursue a plan that would cost about $3 million and would include “green space” such as a courtyard. The commissioners agreed that the new building would stay in the same location as the old City Hall.