Thursday, November 23, 2006

Surprise...Part 4

In the prison there were many huge halls and open areas. These places were the central gathering points for the inmates. Places like the cafeteria, the chapel, the infirmary, etc. Every one of these had ceilings in excess of 15 to 20 feet. The open-floor square footage of even the smallest one was at least 20,000 square feet. Every one had huge steel support columns with ornate bases and caps. Highly detailed chandeliers hung from the ceilings in unison numbers and opposite the beams. Imagine the fanciest hall or museum you've ever been in and these rooms would easily compare to that grandeur.

Within the walls of the prison, only the cell blocks and the solitary cells had bars of any kind. And except for the obvious presence of the inmates and the guards, I doubt you would have known you were in a prison other than in those two areas. Like I said the other day, there were guest quarters nicer than any hotel I've ever been in. At the front of the building, there was an entire mini-house area where the warden and his family lived. It had bedrooms, a kitchen, a living area, bathrooms, everything you'd find in any house. There was a section in one of the places they called the "Diagonals" that housed a working library and social center. I guess what I'm trying to show is this place was and is an amazing piece of architecture. From the huge stone walls and turrets on the outside, to the world class woodworking throughout the living quarters, to the museum-inspired great halls, to the massive steel structures that housed the cell blocks, this building is one of the man-made wonders of the world. I have done some traveling in my life and I've seen some pretty awesome things, but this building and its interior tops most everywhere I've ever been. I know most of friends don't share my "ghost" enthusiasm, but I would encourage anyone to take one of the guided tours they do on Sundays. They are during the daylight so they are family friendly.

Tomorrow I'll get to the good stuff and tell you about our actual ghost hunt. I'll tell you what we did, where we went, and what we say. It's pretty exciting; you don't want to miss it!


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