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Old Leavenworth Prison To Be Demolished
Leavenworth Times ^ | August 23, 2004

Posted on 08/24/2004 3:49:22 PM PDT by Former Military Chick

The stone and steel colossus that has been the symbol of U.S. military justice for 127 years is coming down in a cloud of dust and broken rock at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Demolition began Aug. 16 on the Civil War era confinement facility commonly called the “Castle.”

And despite its history, attempts to keep it standing failed.

“A reuse study was done for the Castle, but none of the options proved feasible and all were very costly,” said Leavenworth public affairs officer Janet Wray.

Those options included converting the structure to a conference center, records storage facility or urban training center.

Some of the other buildings within the 1877 prison complex will remain, including the distinctive rock walls and guard towers, according to Wray. “The entire area is part of the Fort Leavenworth Historic Landmark district,” she said.

The prison’s inmate population was dispersed to other military facilities two years ago. The most serious offenders now are housed across post at the $69 million sate-of-the-art U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. That opened in 2002, and was accredited by the American Correctional Association in May 2003. The facility is located on a 51-acre plot of hills and woods that previously was the old prison’s farm area.

With a population of more than 400, the USDB is the military’s largest prison. It houses murderers and other felons with sentences of seven or more years.

The general inmate population is housed in three cell complexes called “bow ties,” each consisting of two two-tier cellblocks, and a common area with chairs, televisions and pay phones.

Death-row inmates and maximum security prisoners are segregated form the rest of the inmate population.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: fortleavenworth; militaryprison; prison
I suppose nobody would understand why I think this is a tragedy. This was built on the sweat of those convicted. Now they are housed in college type dorm type building.
1 posted on 08/24/2004 3:49:23 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
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To: Former Military Chick

If there was real justice, John Kerry would be serving a life sentence at Fort Leavenworth for giving aid and comfort to the enemy while an officer of the United States Navy.


2 posted on 08/24/2004 3:53:52 PM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Former Military Chick

I stopped by Ft. Leavenworth with my father a few years back. A very tasteful, historical base ... and the elegant old prison is part of it. I'm very sorry that it will be lost. It must be a Chick thing :-).


3 posted on 08/24/2004 3:54:01 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The only thing we know about life is that we aren't going to get out of it alive.)
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To: Former Military Chick

I would have to agree, I used to live just down the hill from the prison and it is a fixture on the post.


4 posted on 08/24/2004 3:54:08 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf

Military news


5 posted on 08/24/2004 3:55:07 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The only thing we know about life is that we aren't going to get out of it alive.)
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To: Former Military Chick

Dang, I was thinking of sending my ex-boyfriend there. Now it sounds too nice.


6 posted on 08/24/2004 3:56:30 PM PDT by poweqi
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To: Former Military Chick

I visited Leavenworth some years back. This is a neat building. Some of the residential areas are pretty impressive.


7 posted on 08/24/2004 3:56:58 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: poweqi
Dang, I was thinking of sending my ex-boyfriend there.

Hell hath no fury...

Have we met?

8 posted on 08/24/2004 3:58:20 PM PDT by Glenn (The two keys to character: 1) Learn how to keep a secret. 2) ...)
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To: Bahbah

I love those old, Midwestern bases and their officer housing. I've even cleaned a few :-). The Army didn't pay much, but they put a roof over your head!


9 posted on 08/24/2004 3:59:47 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The only thing we know about life is that we aren't going to get out of it alive.)
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To: Former Military Chick

You can spend ten years at Leavenworth, eleven years at Twelveworth, or five to ten years at Woolworth. (line (mangled) from a Marx Bros. movie).


10 posted on 08/24/2004 4:01:47 PM PDT by searchandrecovery (Socialist America - diseased and dysfunctional.)
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To: Glenn

Probably.


11 posted on 08/24/2004 4:02:49 PM PDT by poweqi
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To: poweqi
Probably.

Then you show very little gratitude for the dozen roses I sent you in apology. And don't give me that, "They looked like they were taken from a grave!" routine. I bought them fresh off that guy by the Interstate on-ramp.

12 posted on 08/24/2004 4:04:54 PM PDT by Glenn (The two keys to character: 1) Learn how to keep a secret. 2) ...)
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To: Glenn

Was that you? The card was mangled by a badger.


13 posted on 08/24/2004 4:06:10 PM PDT by poweqi
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To: poweqi
The card was mangled by a badger.

If I had a nickel for everytime I've heard that one...

14 posted on 08/24/2004 4:07:52 PM PDT by Glenn (The two keys to character: 1) Learn how to keep a secret. 2) ...)
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To: Former Military Chick

Where on the grounds is the prison, near the river? Turning it into a museum would seem natural but I suppose being on a military reservation would make civilian access another headache.


15 posted on 08/24/2004 4:09:13 PM PDT by babaloo999 (Liberals say they're "Progressive". So is cancer.)
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To: Former Military Chick
The wife and I visited there a couple of years ago when my son was a guard at the prison. Nice base but would not want to live there.
16 posted on 08/24/2004 4:11:09 PM PDT by WWTraveler
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To: babaloo999

17 posted on 08/24/2004 4:11:14 PM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
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To: Tax-chick

As a young child my father was stationed at a base not from here, I recall a Sunday drive and we drove up to hystorical Leavenworth. As I saw the prison from a distance, I knew one thing for sure I would never EVER get in trouble. I thought the beds were size of the window. Way to small for this chick!


18 posted on 08/24/2004 4:11:32 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Former Military Chick

Nothing like a prison tour to put you off crime! I remember a visit to Yuma Territorial Prison in Arizona (my family would tourize *anything*!) Unbelievably miserable!


19 posted on 08/24/2004 4:13:59 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The only thing we know about life is that we aren't going to get out of it alive.)
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To: babaloo999
>>Where on the grounds is the prison, near the river? Turning it into a museum would seem natural but I suppose being on a military reservation would make civilian access another headache.<<

I actually agree with you. My beloved seems to think it was recently used in a Redford movie that was based at a prison. Don't know, but, it would have I think made it's keep by being a museum.

Access is currently a headache so an added one certainly would not have bugged me. There was very little in the KC and local news that it was to be no more. Oh well.

20 posted on 08/24/2004 4:14:27 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: knarf

Thanks knarf for adding the photo. Sure does give this article another dimension.


21 posted on 08/24/2004 4:15:17 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: GretchenM
Sorry, that is the Federal prison just off post. The Military prison is on the post and completely separate.
23 posted on 08/24/2004 4:20:53 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: Andrewksu

Thanks for clearing that up - I googled it -- have never seen it so I couldn't tell if it was the wrong thing.


24 posted on 08/24/2004 4:25:18 PM PDT by GretchenM (A country is a terrible thing to waste. Vote Republican.)
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To: GretchenM

No problem, there are quite a few prisons around here, you have to live here awhile to get them all straight. Knarf has a good photo from the SW side.


25 posted on 08/24/2004 4:28:00 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: Andrewksu

Not to be too nostalgic but my Grandfather was a guard at Leavenworth during the Teddy Roosevelt era and is buried in the cemetery there when killed by a prisoner. I never new him but have pictures of him. I would like to visit his graveside someday.


26 posted on 08/24/2004 4:30:12 PM PDT by drdemars (Each moment I live a healthy life)
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To: drdemars

Oh, wow ...


27 posted on 08/24/2004 4:33:06 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The only thing we know about life is that we aren't going to get out of it alive.)
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To: drdemars
I was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth from 1976-1981 and that bad boy was one impressive prison. It is situated along the river and would make a fantastic historic site.

Of all the stateside assignments during my career, Ft. Leavenworth was the best. The prisoners sacked groceries at the PX, cut grass, and extra duty was nonexistent for enlisted soldiers. Its a shame they are tearing down the old prison.

John Danforth
SSgt USA (ret)
28 posted on 08/24/2004 4:38:25 PM PDT by JohnD9207 (Lead...follow...or get the HELL out of the way!)
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To: drdemars
If he is buried at the normal post cemetery, which I imagine he would be, it is quite nice and worth a visit. It would not be affected by this demolition.

I spent my junior high and early high school years living just down the hill and my best Friend's dad was provost of the prison for a stretch. I have heard some interesting stories about the place and got a thrill out of an occasional escape.

A friend of mine has purchased all (millions) of the brick and upon demolition and will be cleaning and then reselling them. I am going to recommend to my parents to include that into a new home. Freepmail me if you would be interested in a keepsake or maybe enough for a small project.
29 posted on 08/24/2004 4:38:40 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: JohnD9207
They stopped sacking groceries about 10-11 years ago, but they still do maintenance work and run a DB car wash.
30 posted on 08/24/2004 4:40:48 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: knarf

That picture is of the Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, not to be confused with the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.


31 posted on 08/24/2004 4:43:33 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Jefferson Davis - the first 'selected, not elected' president.)
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To: Former Military Chick

on further news, only part of the prison will be torn down. One small section of one wall will be left standing so that they can rebuild a new building but call it remodeling. This way they can get ten times the money for rebuilding it as if they were to just rebuild it.


32 posted on 08/24/2004 4:54:49 PM PDT by ReformedBeckite
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To: Chieftain; Ragtime Cowgirl; gatorbait; writer33; GreyFriar; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; ...

A bit of American history meeting it's death.


33 posted on 08/24/2004 5:25:49 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
>>If there was real justice, John Kerry would be serving a life sentence at Fort Leavenworth for giving aid and comfort to the enemy while an officer of the United States Navy.<<

There you go we now have a reason to stop tearing down the prison. I am sure we can find some prime realestate for Kerry!

34 posted on 08/24/2004 5:27:05 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Actually, the picture is of the Disciplinary Barracks, the Federal Pen is more of a Greek Revival architecture. Unfortunately, the building is structurally unsound and has been for years. Has to come down, or will fall down on its own. The new DB is about half the size (500 inmate capacity vice 1000) and will not be used to provide for incarceration for the length of the court martial sentence. When all military appeals are exhausted, you are remanded to the federal penal system, you get a short ride in a white van to the federal pen; and, you get to meet your new best friend: Bubba! Be nice to Bubba, he's very sensitive.


35 posted on 08/24/2004 6:59:58 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: JohnD9207

Now the prisoners live in a new campus style prison. They do not work anywhere on Post as they used to long ago.

The only time we see them, if they have a doctors appointment and have to be transported to Munsin. But, you cannot miss them, but, many who work at the hospital could do without their appointments.


36 posted on 08/24/2004 8:27:13 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Andrewksu

Just curious if you know what was in post 22, I was trying to read through the web and got lost until I realized one was missing. Again if you are able to tell.


37 posted on 08/24/2004 8:33:53 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: drdemars; Andrewksu

It is a nice cemetary. If you could provide a name I can see what I can find out.


38 posted on 08/24/2004 8:35:46 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Former Military Chick

Photo from 1918 postcard.

39 posted on 08/24/2004 8:42:10 PM PDT by tapatio
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To: centurion316

While my beloved would say I know everything, I do not. While on post today, I was speaking to a guard who brought a prisoner to be seen at Ft Leavenworth hosptial (Munson). We got to talking and he did say that the numbers have been reduced but that do have a few on death row.

Not to doubt your information and you are right the numbers have been reduced a great deal. While building the new facility they started transferring many of the prisoners.

You have Jeffery McDonald (green beret found guilty of murder) allowed to be moved to a prison closer to his current wife.

There is no doubt the building needed work, but, it is quite amazing. I might try and go tomorrow and take some photo's if they don't have a problem with it. I recall the barber shop at the entrance, little things like that.

Anyway, it appears we all have something to add to the discussion.


40 posted on 08/24/2004 8:45:02 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Dutchy; RaceBannon

ping


41 posted on 08/24/2004 9:44:06 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Comrade Hillary - 6/28/04)
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To: Former Military Chick

Someone posted a photo of the Federal pen, and had it removed after being corrected.


42 posted on 08/24/2004 10:03:31 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: drdemars
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery

Browse by Cemetery Ft Leavenworth National Cemetery

43 posted on 05/08/2005 2:19:37 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
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To: drdemars; Tax-chick; JohnD9207; Andrewksu
Hi there I had recalled you posting about your grandfather and his burial at Ft Leavenworth.

Here is a link that you might find helpful. Let me know if you need further help.

Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery

44 posted on 08/01/2005 2:51:51 AM PDT by Former Military Chick (I salute all our Vets, those who walked before me and all those who walk after me.)
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