Monday, December 12, 2016

Behind Bars

From Dave Brigham:

This foreboding building -- the prison at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, -- has been closed for 42 years. Wouldn't you just love to get in there? Poke around the cells and look for dungeons and rats and skeletons and ghosts? Scare yourself silly in the middle of the night?

Few people not wearing black-and-white striped jumpsuits or naval uniforms have seen the inside of this place since it was completed in 1908. The prison looms over the Piscataqua River just across from the bustling hipster-town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

My family and I recently went on a harbor cruise, which took us past beautiful old homes and sentry-like lighthouses and run-down forts. But the prison is the most impressive feature of the cruise, in my mind.

In addition to Navy and Marine offenders, the prison played host over the years to German U-boat crews near the end of World War II, according to this article.

There has been talk of redeveloping the massive prison -- at the time of its opening it was the largest poured concrete building in the world -- into apartments or condos, to no avail.

For a closer look at the outside of the prison, check out these two videos:

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