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July 18, 2017

Former Missouri penitentiary is now a tourist destination

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:30 pm

Stone walls of Missouri penitentiary

When I was a child in elementary school, in 1942, I was taken on a class trip to see the penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO. There were still prisoners living in the cells at that time, and almost all of them were African American. I was scared to death about what would happen if those men somehow got out of the penitentiary. They would head straight for my home town which was very close to Jefferson City, and I would probably be killed.

The following quote is from a news article, which you can read in full at http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/housing-hotels-and-more-planned-for-area-around-jefferson-city/article_88ac6531-93a9-5e47-8b07-0b5b0dba5e57.html

Begin quote from news article:

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri’s capital city may be known as the home of state government, but this community of 43,100 residents is a prison town at heart.

Eight blocks from the domed Capitol sits the remnants of what was once not only the city’s biggest employer, but also one of its largest manufacturing hubs.

The Missouri State Penitentiary is closed and, except for tour groups, nearly abandoned now. But the shuttered structure’s imposing walls loom large at the corner of Lafayette Street and Capitol Avenue.

Last week, Gov. Eric Greitens signed legislation that city leaders hope will help rejuvenate the prison and the largely derelict area around it.

The measure turns over 32 acres of state-owned land to the city, which plans to build roads, hotels and new housing in the shadow of the old fortress. Most of the prison structure itself will remain in state hands.

End quote