Old city prison still stands on Vine St.

pc.tif

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
June 4, 2014

Overcrowding, frequent escapes, unclean bedding, vermin, lack of medical attention, poor food, habitual gambling, prisoners kept in cells in idleness and intoxicating liquors and drugs available during confinement.

The list of grievances was delivered to Mayor Thomas Crittenden in 1909 by the Board of Pardons and Paroles describing the deplorable conditions at the City Work House, located at 2001 Vine St.

After public dissemination of those charges, the superintendent and most of the staff at the Work House were fired or resigned under duress. The castellated stone structure was designed by local architect Wallace Love and completed in 1896. The undressed stone was quarried locally, and most of the construction labor was done by prisoners.

The long wing that extended east from the main tower housed a row of one-story prison cells holding those who violated city ordinances. An armed guard was situated on a platform along the north side of the structure.

Cells in the basement, referred to as “the dungeon,” were reserved for the most egregious scofflaws. In 1910, 115 acres was purchased just south of the Rock Island Railroad in the Leeds District for a new facility that was completed the following year.

Following its completion, only female prisoners remained, until the 1920s when the facility was taken over by the water department. The facility has been vacant for almost 30 years despite numerous potential buyers and plans for the unique and historic structure.

Comments are closed.

  • Lagoon & boathouse beautified Swope Park

    February 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 15, 2017 One of the most prolific picture postcard publishers in Kansas City at […]


    St. Valentine champions for couples

    February 8th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 8, 2017 Around the year 200, the Roman Emporer Claudius was busy conquering various […]


    From postcards, to war planes, to vacuums — C.U. Williams was entrepreneur

    February 1st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 1, 2017 The Big Blue River starts in southern Johnson County, Kan., where Wolf […]


    Baltimore Hotel stunned around turn of the century

    January 25th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 25, 2017 Often called enigmatic and eccentric and known by his friends as a […]


    No better view west of the Hudson

    January 18th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 18, 2017 Built in 1906-07 by the Swenson Construction Company at a cost of […]


  • Airport once was one of best in country

    January 11th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 11, 2017 This Hallmark Cards postcard titled “Airplane View of Kansas City, Mo.” is […]


    Our feet in the snow, our minds on the beach

    January 4th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 4, 2017 Tired of living in the deep freeze? We are too, so we’re […]


    Happy New Year HNEKC residents

    December 28th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 28, 2016 Sent to Mrs. J. E. Hussell of Williamsville, N.Y., on Dec. 26, […]


    Postcard history dates to 1893

    December 21st, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 21, 2016 As a public communications medium, the postcard was ushered into service following […]


    Streetcars were the way to go

    December 14th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 14, 2016 Kansas City’s street railway began humbly in 1869 with the advent of […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCU MPD makes it through committee, set for Council next week

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News February 17, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A proposal that would pave the way for […]

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    Northeast News February 15, 2016

    Deadly structure fire near 9th and Brighton

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News February 15, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Just before 6:00 a.m. on the morning of […]