A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Museum?

Anamosa, Iowa

We were in Anamosa to visit the National Motorcycle Museum.  It was cold the night before and the museum didn't open until 9am.  So in an effort to get warm that morning I drove around town just to have the heater running.  I turned up a street and saw this wonderful building.  I thought with all these cars parked around it that it might be a museum worth looking into.

I turned out to be the Iowa State Penitentiary!  
It is 130 years old , houses 1100 inmates and is built of stone by the inmates it held at the time.
The entire facility is on the National Register of Historic Places.
And there is a museum there but unfortunately 
we were there at the wrong time of the year and it was not open.

It really looked like a cold dismal place to be incarcerated in.  I was able to see into these tall narrow windows three levels inside with long rows of bunks running off in the distance.  Maybe the prisoners had more heat going for them than I did last night.

The brochure I picked up states "Nothing else like it in Iowa".  Well I should hope not.


s.c said...

Very strange building in a kind of victorian neo gothic style. Last thing you expect is a jail behind those facades. Am curious on your findings at the motorcycle museum.

biebkriebels said...

They sure did brighten up the building for the prisoners. Only they are not able to see it from the outside. But the city has a nice building to look at.

EG CameraGirl said...

It does look like a cold, dreary place. You mean there are 1100 residents? I never would have guessed Iowa had that many bad people. (I always think of the people who live in Iowa as being very law-abiding people.)

MarkD60 said...

Looks like a prison to me!

TexWisGirl said...

unique, for sure! like a castle/dormitory/prison. :)

RedPat said...

What a place!

John W. Wall said...

That's one fancy-looking pen. I tried to guess before you spilled the beans, and I was thinking it was a hotel.

GreenComotion said...

Magnificent building. I hope you get to see the inside of it someday. I am reminded of the movie, "Rat Race", when you mention the Motorcycle Museum.

Peace :)

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Striking architecture. Strange to see a prison in the middle of town. I'm used to seeing prison signs on highways pointing off into a desolate horizon.

Rose said...

sitting here laughing...sorry. That is like something I would do.