Old Laclede County Jail deteriorating, restoration would be expensive, officials say

Old Jail

LDR photo/Chris Rodden

The entrance to the Old Jail shows its dilapidation. Inside, floors are rotted and a bricked up cellar holds water almost year round.

By: 
CHRIS RODEN ◆ CHRIS@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

For some, it is a historic landmark worthy of restoring.

For others, it is an eyesore that needs to be razed and removed.

“There’s some people that would absolutely have a fit if we tore that thing down, and there’s also people who think it needs to come down,” said Laclede County’s Presiding Commissioner Danny Rhoades.

Whatever the school of thought, the old Laclede County Jail that squats in front of the Laclede County Government Center continues to deteriorate.

In the front of the building, a piece of soffit hangs down. In other places, especially the rear of the building, bricks are falling off the walls.

It has been around for a long time.

In fact, it is one of the oldest buildings in town.

The original section was constructed shortly after the Civil War in 1876 with living quarters for the sheriff added in 1913.

A common problem with older buildings is asbestos.

“If that thing is indeed full of asbestos, it will cost a fortune to move it, destroy it and prepare that building for destruction,” Rhoades said.

The furnishings are no longer in the building. They were removed by the Laclede County Historical Society and placed in the Ploger-Moneymaker House.

Some of the floors are rotten to the point that the flooded cellar can be seen through them. Rhoades estimated he saw between six and seven feet of water there.

For the complete article, see the Friday print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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