After operating as a prison for more than 100 years, the former State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh closed in June 2017.
The original buildings in what was once called the Western Penitentiary were built from 1876 to 1882 in the style of the “Auburn system” — a method that allowed inmates to work during the day in groups and be kept in solitary cells at night.
The property on the Ohio River is still owned by the state, and it’s unclear what will become of the 22.5-acre site in Pittsburgh’s North Side.
Preservation groups have said the long wall facing the Ohio River and former warden’s quarters should be preserved, though any adaption to another use would likely be very costly. In recent months, the site has mainly been used by the film industry. Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora” was partially filmed in the closed facility.
Post-Gazette reporter Kate Giammarise and photographers Nate Guidry and Steve Mellon recently toured the facility.