Published September 28, 2012
Looking for some new digs? One western Pennsylvania town has a unique fixer-upper whose most recent residents were inmates.
The Cambria County Prison, which has been vacant for 15 years, is being offered for sale or rent by the Ebensburg Borough Council. A back portion of the facility, which was originally built in the 1870s, is being used to house county records, but its much larger front portion is ready for the right bidder.
“We think it would really suit a microbrewery, a bar, a restaurant,” Ebensburg Borough Manager Dan Penatzer told FoxNews.com. “It’s a unique space.”
Penatzer declined to say how much borough officials were looking to sell or lease the property for, but did indicate that potential investors have already inquired about the building in downtown Ebensburg (pop. 3,300).
“Some developer is going to have to propose some intended purpose for it,” he said. “We’ve just really decided that we’re going to try to work with the county either for sale or for lease.”
Two potential investors have already inquired about the space, but no offers have been received as of Friday, Penatzer said.
“We’re continuing to talk to them, but we’ve really only started the idea,” he said.
The building is reportedly in good shape, with most of it well preserved, including a dungeon below that is still intact and jail cells that still lock, WJACTV.com reports.
Built in 1872, the Cambria County Prison saw an additional 52 cells — dubbed “The Annex” — added to its structure in 1911, bringing its population capacity to 250. By 1970, population would reach 1,000, according to the Cambria County Historical Society. It closed in 1997.