Should The Old Hancock County Jail Be Refurbished Or Torn Down? [POLL]
What would you do?
The old Hancock County Jail was built between 1885 and 1886 and stands proudly at at 40 State Street in Ellsworth. Or, does it?
Years and years of water seepage have taken it's toll and kicked the jail into an "advanced state of deterioration", according to engineering consultants who presented their findings back in 2017 to the Ellsworth Historical Society, the current tenants of the old jail. At that point, the consultants said it would take up to $500,000 in renovations to get another 80 to 100 years out of the old girl.
Meanwhile, just this week, Bill Fogle who is the Ellsworth Historical Society president told WABI TV 5 that it would now take about $2 million for renovations. He also said that without any work being done soon, the entire structure may collapse within 3 to 4 years.
Of course it's the wrong time to think about a building "collapsing" with what just happened in Florida.
You don't have to be a cop to take notice that parking spaces are at a premium in that area now, with staff of the Sheriff's Department, Regional Communications and others that work in the courthouse next door now parking cruisers and their personal vehicles on the front lawn of the old jail. Nobody parks beside it anymore, as bricks and other material have a habit of eroding and dropping down from above.
The 2-and-a-half story building operated as a jail and housed the sheriffs and their families up until the early 1970s.
There's plenty of history there as is evident within the photos below. There was also a lot of misery there as well throughout the years, as there is with any jail.
So, is it worth refurbishing the old jail so that it can continue to prove it's worth as a museum or whatever else is thrown at it in the future, or, should it be torn down so that it's space can be used for other needs?