28 April 2010

The Kansas City Workhouse at Vine Street

So, there's an abandoned "castle" in Kansas City. What is a castle doing in Kansas City?, you may ask. Well, as the blog quotes,
"It is really hard to find accurate information about it, but I think I’ve been able to piece together its story fairly well. It was indeed built by the prisoners in 1896-1897, the site it is on used to be a quarry, so all the stone for it was mined on site by the prisoners. By building it this way, the costs were kept low, and the city decided that the building could look like a castle because it wouldn’t cost them any more money to do so. There was some sort of solitary confinement cell in the basement for unruly prisoners, but from what I can tell it was by no means a dungeon, I think they just liked calling it that because of the castle theme. The prisoners were mostly just short term inmates, who committed crimes such as being drunk in public, petty theft, etc, interred there in the hope that hard work would reform them into better citizens, so security was low.

Since the building has been abandoned, it’s pretty easy to get in if you want to take a look around. The side door on the north side will let you into the main cell block for the male prisoners, and there’s a staircase and door in the ‘hook’ part of the L shape in the back that will allow you into the main story of the building. There’s a lot of trash, so wear good shoes, and don’t go in the towers and in the dining hall area on the south side, the towers are really dangerous, and the dining hall is very difficult to get into. While law enforcement hasn’t ever confronted me or anything about being in there, I am not responsible for anything that may happen to you while there."

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