Historic Former Jail to Get New Life

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy Lee Lewellen/Indiana Landmarks) (photo courtesy Lee Lewellen/Indiana Landmarks)
WABASH COUNTY -

A historic building in Wabash County that was once marked for demolition will now undergo renovations. The Wabash County Commission has given the Wabash Sheriff's House and Jail, which was built around 1880, to Indiana Landmarks for preservation.

The building, which sits across from the Wabash County Courthouse, has been vacant since 2004. Indiana Landmarks says attempts to find a new owner for the building failed, which led the commission to give the building to the nonprofit organization, along with the $75,000 it had set aside for demolition.

Indiana Landmarks says it will match the $75,000 and install a new roof, restore the building's masonry, overhangs and windows, paint trim and install a handicap ramp later this summer.

"The porch added in the 1930s doesn’t suit the elegant Italianate building, so we’ll replace it with one in keeping with the original architecture," says Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ northeast field office. "Inside, we’ll clear debris and remove modern paneling and dropped ceilings."

The building was listed on Indiana Landmarks' 10 Most Endangered list in 2014. Parker Beauchamp, vice chairman of the Indiana Landmarks board of directors, says they believe they will be able to find a buyer to use it as a professional office, restaurant or brewpub once the restoration is complete.

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