America’s Abandoned Prisons

Gas Chamber With Two Chairs, Missouri State Penitentiary, 2012

 

Fine Art Photographer Lee Saloutos is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From ongoing project ‘Prisons‘.  To see Lee’s projects click on any image.

 

Cell, B Block, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

Cell, B Block, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

 

Gas Chamber, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

Gas Chamber, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

 

Shower, B Block, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

Shower, B Block, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

 

Gas Chamber Observation Room, Missouri State Penitentiary, 2012

Gas Chamber Observation Room, Missouri State Penitentiary, 2012

 

The Abandoned Prison

This series is part of an ongoing project documenting abandoned or closed prisons in the US.

Almost all of these structures are “hidden in plain sight”, integrated into the city or town in which they are located, often presenting a beautiful facade to the world.

With the rise of the modern “prison industrial complex” the architecture of prisons has become much more banal, and such facilities are commonly hidden in remote areas. The prisons in these images are from an earlier era, and it is uncertain if attempts at integrating them into communities made them more or less visible.

In either case these places often have a long and frightening history, but when empty are full of eerie and beautiful light. The design and function of these interior spaces can be jarring, utilitarian, even brutal, yet the light in the space open and subtle and inviting.

It is possible to feel quite alone in one of these locations, and at the same time realize that they were inevitably overcrowded and filled with ever present tension and latent violence.

The contrast between these elements is fascinating and difficult. It is possible to feel deeply unsettled and serene at almost the same moment.

 

Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH, 2011

Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH, 2011

 

Sun Room, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

Sun Room, Wyoming Frontier Prison, 2007

 

Block End, Housing Unit 1, Missouri State Penitentiary, 2012

Block End, Housing Unit 1, Missouri State Penitentiary, 2012

 

Visitation, Nevada State Prison, Carson City, NV, 2015

Visitation, Nevada State Prison, Carson City, NV, 2015

 

Infirmary, Nevada State Prison, Carson City, NV,2015

Infirmary, Nevada State Prison, Carson City, NV,2015

 

Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH, 2011

Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH, 2011

 

See also:

Nevada Mines

By Lee Saloutos

 


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