Macon County Jail Torn Down

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MACON - Crews tore down a 100-year-old piece of Macon's history Thursday. Four years ago, courts condemned the old Macon County Sheriff's Office and Jail as unsafe, due to structural problems.

The county built a new jail and sheriff's office and moved in the space in early 2017. According to Macon County Sheriff Kevin Shoemaker, this was the right call.

"Fortunately we were able to build a new one quick and get out of this one fairly quick before it did come down on us," Shoemaker said.

The community had talked about turning the century-old building into a historical site, but Shoemaker says the building was simply unusable.

"It would take a complete teardown to almost do anything safe enough with it." Shoemaker said.

Macon resident Junior Johenson said while he understands the building has to go he will miss it.

"This one here I just thought was pretty unique, I just thought that we ought to just try and preserve it if we could, but I know it has to come down," Johenson said.

Johenson's not the only one who enjoyed the building. Macon County Assessor Alan Spencer said he remembers having his restaurant cook for the inmates.

"Twice a day, seven days a week, we used to take food up there," Spencer said.

Shoemaker said all the time he spent at the sheriff's office created a connection to the building.

"You know you spend half your life here at work you get attached to things," Shoemaker said

Even with all the nostalgia, Shoemaker says he won't be heartbroken to see it go.

"Oh boy, I don't know that I'm going to miss anything actually," Shoemaker said.

He added that the building served it's purpose for long enough, and it has run its course.

"It's definitely time to go," Shoemaker said.

The building was built in 1909 and had stood in Macon for more than 108 years.