Sunbury Man Buys Burned-Out Prison

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SUNBURY -- The former Northumberland County Prison will have a new owner. Commissioners accepted bids on the building and a Sunbury man put down $40,000. It's been just over two years since the prison was destroyed by fire.

Mark Walberg of Sunbury told Newswatch 16 he does not have any specific plans for the building, but what ever he does will benefit the community. He decided to buy the former prison because he believes it is a landmark and his 90-year-old father encouraged him.

Mark Walberg of Sunbury points out what he loves about the former Northumberland County Prison on North Second Street, which he will soon own. Walberg was the highest bidder at $40,000 as the building was on sale.

"I'm not looking to get everything for cheap, I'm looking to get it for what I value it. And I value it as a true treasure," Walberg said.

Walberg owns around 25 properties in Northumberland County, including a school and State Representative Linda Schlegel Culver's office. He also owns an art and antiques business in Northumberland. His mother was the head of the historical society where he grew up in Texas.

"This building is unbelievable architecture, hand-made, can't be duplicated today and still very structurally sound. It's a landmark for the whole area so it should be kept," Walberg said.

So what are Walberg's plans for the building?

"At this point, I don't have any specific plans but what ever I do will be good for the community," Walberg said.

"We feel he's going to try and do something that will be for the betterment of Sunbury and hopefully Northumberland County," Commissioner Sam Schiccatano said.

Some other people who are excited are the people in the Save the Northumberland County Prison group. Its leader says she believes Walberg will not tear the building down.

"I am elated. I think what I want to remind people is that our goal is to make sure that this building was not razed, that it was not torn down and we accomplished that," Victoria Rosencrans said.

Northumberland County Commissioners still must approve Mark Walberg as the winning bidder, and that is expected to happen at the next commissioner's meeting, which is on March 7th.


  • mandee

    He should fix it up and have tours more tourism means more tourists, more tourists means more people to shop at the stores such will help our economy

  • Mike G

    What’s the point of buying all these properties when all he does is lets them sit….does nothing with them whatsoever. His talk of wanting to do something to benefit our community are just that…talk. All for TV fame.

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