The 10 Most Interesting Abandoned Prisons of America

Photo by Phillip Foster at Shutterstock

Tennessee State Prison, Nashville

Time of Operation: 1898 to 1992
This Victorian-style penitentiary opened on February 12 of 1898, with 800 cells. That day alone, they would admit just over 1,400 prisoners. This caused extreme overcrowding. The Tennessee State Prison is rich with history. Most of this prison was built using inmate labor, and Inmates worked up to 16 hours a day on very little food.

Riots and uncontrollable prisoner violence are what contributed to the facility’s downfall, which happened in 1992. It has been the location for movies like Ernest Goes to Jail, Against the Wall, The Green Mile, and The Last Castle. Today, the historical society has hopes to renovate the prison and reopen it as a museum.

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