To the Editor:
I would hope that the recent “disaster” that struck Caledonia’s historic jail was not the result of some intentional neglect in order to hasten its demise. If the building was left unheated and unattended during a typical Minnesota winter, is it any wonder a flood of this magnitude could occur.
There are some who would like to see the old jail demolished. I am not among them. As last year’s structural evaluation stated, the building is in very stable condition, and could easily last another 100 years. This episode should hasten its repurposing and redevelopment. And if there is blame to be found for this flood, so be it. Someone should be responsible for its regular inspection and maintenance, even if the building is currently unoccupied. A quick daily walk-through would be sufficient to avert most disasters. It would be Caledonia’s loss if another of its historic buildings disappears.
An editor’s note: The Historic Houston County Jail was heated all winter and the county reported walking through the building at least once a month.