Built in the late 1800s, the historic Sandusky County Jail and Sheriff’s House was used as an incarceration facility until 1989 when the building closed because its design no longer met the State of Ohio’s new regulations for jails and a new facility was built.
After much debate on whether to save the decrepit facility or raze it, the decision was made to transform the old jail into a showplace that will house the county commissioners’ offices.
Many of the building’s ceilings were sagging, floors were covered with chunks of plaster, piles of hazardous, lead-based paint chips, and the sandstone exterior was blackened with soot. Mosser Construction’s major renovation of this historic building has made each of those problems a thing of the past.
Instead of sharing a single room, as in the courthouse, the commissioners now have separate offices in the former jail. That section’s dark, ornate woodwork, which includes window frames, baseboards, and banisters, has been restored to its original majesty. The building also includes staff offices, a second-floor conference room, and a meeting room on the first floor. An elevator shaft was added to make the old jail handicapped-accessible.
The rear half of the building, where prisoners were housed, remains much as it did when it was a lockup. Each of its three floors has eight cells, with concrete floors and metal bars.
Location: Fremont, Ohio