What's Up with the Old Navy Prison?
A Portsmouth Patch reader posed this question last week and Portsmouth Patch has the answer.
This week our first question in our new feature of "You Ask... Portsmouth Patch Answers" concerns the former Navy prison at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.
Bethany Fisk Heim posted this question on Portsmouth Patch's Facebook page last week: “What is the deal with the castle (the old prison) will they ever use it again or will it forever be vacant and dilapidated?”
Here is what we found out:
Great question, Bethany. The short answer to your question is no one really knows what the future may hold for the former Navy prison that closed in 1974.
The closest the former Navy prison came to being redeveloped was in the late 1990s when Dover developer Joseph Sawtelle presented a plan to the Navy. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, security put its potential redevelopment on hold.
As majestic and impressive as the former Navy prison looks on the outside, Navy officials at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine have said the building’s interior would require millions of dollars in work. There are also several environmental issues that need to be addressed.
With any luck, a potential developer may one day present another plan to the Navy that would lead to the redevelopment and reuse of the building.
Do you have a question about Portsmouth that you have always wanted to ask? If you've got a question about something in Portsmouth, send it to portsmouth-nh.patch.com or post a comment below and our team will dig up an answer.
So, start asking away Portsmouth, and check back on Tuesdays for You Ask … Patch Answers.