The Old City Jail, which has been remodeled to look like the Mayberry jail popularized on “The Andy Griffith Show,” is going to get some much-needed repair work this week.
A Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark crew is scheduled to arrive in Mount Airy tomorrow. The firm held an online contest last year among several small-town landmarks around the nation, and area residents cast enough votes for the Mount Airy landmark to win out and receive the free work.
With peeling paint, leaky ceiling, and often dusty floors, the popular tourist stop is in great need of a facelift and it was good to see so many people vote for the Hampton-sponsored clean-up program.
However, we have to ask what’s next? The condition of the jail has been a sore subject for some in Mount Airy because it is caught in a no-man’s land when it comes to upkeep responsibility.
The jail is located in a building owned by two local men, rented out by a non-tourist-related business, yet promoted on the visitmayberry.com Web site. The owners of the building aren’t responsible for maintaining the site, nor are those who operate a business, and neither the Surry Arts Council nor the local tourism center seem to have any real responsibility for maintaining this site.
Again, we are glad to see the clean-up coming, but we hope someone, or some group, will figure out a way to ensure the jail stays in good condition after this week’s facelift. Otherwise, the volunteers for the Hampton Inn who are coming to do the work, as well as those who voted for the Mayberry jail in the online contest, will have simply wasted their time.