Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hubba Hubba

The title is a very poor bit of wordplay on The Hub of the prison, which we are featuring today. Or at least the hub of the cell block building, which I guess is fair to call the main part of the prison complex.

(Keep in mind in whatever I write that I am recalling information as best as I can from my memory from a fairly quick tour, so I don't guarantee complete accuracy. However I do think I have the gist of it.)

The hub operated under an impressive dome, with 4 cell blocks radiating away from the centre. There were 4 levels of cell blocks. You can see 3 active levels in the following photo, and you can also see that the 4th was closed off after the 1971 riots. 

After 1971 a secure, enclosed control room was built on the floor of the hub under the dome.

But it used to be open with the main and detested object being a brass bell which rang the order of the days. The bell was so detested that it was smashed during the riot, never to be replaced. It now sits in a display case in the museum across the street. Click on this YouTube link for about 1 minute to see and hear a bit about the bell.

Back to the hub, there was a picture of the inmates enjoying a concert, but such events were eliminated after the riot. I am not sure how the riot began although I did read an account of it in a book a very long time ago, but, plainly, such a gathering could be fraught with danger.

This is one of the rows of cell blocks as it radiates away from the hub on the ground floor.

And this is what a cell block looks like.

In this particular cell block, there hung a photo taken after the riot.

At one time the ceiling was open to all 4 levels of cell blocks. That was also changed after the big riot as yet another security measure. More about the riot on this YouTube link. The riot section of the video lasts for about 9 minutes if you decide to watch it all.

to be continued


Marie Smith said...

It would be interesting to see what a prison looks like today. Interesting posts about Kingston, AC.

Mage said...

Yes, this was quite a tour. We have done Alcatraz, and this prison looks as if it could be opened and used again right away. Alcatraz doesn't. Now I will go read about the riot.

Mage said...

Oh dear....I would love to see the video, but copyright grounds are blocking my way.

Jenn Jilks said...

I cannot imagine, although I did tutor some men in a medium security prison in Muskoka.