Dejarnett Demolition?

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

Its one of the marquee structures in the Queen City, the old Dejarnett building. But after years of neglect, the former mental home is beyond repair.

"It has actually become quite the liability to the museum," says the Frontier Culture Museum's director John Avoli. "We have to maintain and keep everything out of there that we possibly can."

As the museum undergoes major expansion, there are negotiations taking place that could lead to the demolition of the building and a new strip mall in its place.

"At the end of the day when all is said and done the developer, ground leases the property and it will be his repsonsibility to do the demolition of the dejarnett property," said Avoli.

For years, historic preservationists have been trying to save the building but there's one problem. It’s not a registered historic landmark.

"We said at that time the building would be eligible for that listing but it’s never moved forward beyond that," says department of Historic Resources' Catherine Slusser.

But since the land was surplused by the state Historic Resources still has to review the plan. But that shouldn't be a problem considering the buildings current condition.

The Historic Staunton Foundation respectfully declined comment on this issue. The lease negotiations could be finalized within a month. The demolition could begin as early as next spring.

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