The oldest prison west of the Mississippi River may use its grim history to lure visitors

  • Article by: RYAN J. FOLEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 20, 2013 - 9:20 AM

FORT MADISON, Iowa — The Iowa State Penitentiary stands like an ancient stone fortress on a bluff over the Mississippi River, ringed by castle-like guard towers and sheathed in chain link and razor wire. Built in 1839, seven years before Iowa became a state, the buff-colored compound is the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi, and as unwelcoming a place as you can imagine.

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davehougDec. 20, 1312:58 PM

What kills most buildings in the US, is too expensive to maintain. With plenty of land, it is cheaper to build new than upgrade. Also how often have we seen a home-remodel show where an expensive surprise (mold / asbestos / termites) happens.

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