3d pan white

TN State Prison Film Exp 02

Taken on ISO100 DX Studio35 colour film with a Bell+Howell PZ3300.


Built at the close of the 19th century, the Tennessee State Prison housed inmates until it was closed in 1989. From the time it began operations in 1898, the 800 cells of the prison had almost continually been over crowded. Throughout it's history numerous calamities have occurred at the penitentiary including riots, mass escapes, and fires. Conditions at the facility were forbidding and harsh due to overcrowding, sanitation problems and insufficient ventilation. In 1983 a federal court decision prohibited the Tennessee Department of Corrections from ever housing prisoners at the TN State Prison.


Since 1992 the facility has been left mostly abandoned. Several buildings on the massive compound are still in some use today, but the rest of the prison lies in disrepair and deterioration. The Tennessee State Prison is now a wonderland of decay. Not without danger, the buildings on the site are contaminated with black mold, asbestos, and lead based paint among other obvious perils. Yet, it is a completely fascinating location to explore. Numerous films and music videos have been shot on the grounds of the prison.


Nearly all of my exploration of this site on this visit was of the medical facility on the northern end of the compound. The medical facility one of the most restricted buildings at the prison, attributable in part to damage caused by a film crew from VH1 that were visiting to shoot the “Celebrity Paranormal Project.”



Historic Decay

Abandoned Online

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Taken on December 25, 2007