Wow!  The latest field trip that I organized for the Southwest Missouri Camera Club was to the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO.  It was really a fantastic trip!  (Personal note – my parents lived within a half-block of the penitentiary before I was born, back in the spring of 1963.)

The penitentiary is historically significant, as far as prisons go, and you can find more information about it here.  The penitentiary was closed in 2004, and things were pretty much just left where they were.  Because of the proximity to the Missouri River, humidity has taken its toll on this former institution, leaving peeling paint and an unyielding sense of desolation and ruin.  I’m actually kind of thankful for the state of shambles – it makes the fact that this facility was used to house and execute extremely violent men and women a distant historical memory – something I can ignore if I don’t think about it too much (note to self: don’t think about it too much). Regardless of the purpose of the facility, from a photographer’s point of view, it was unadulterated ruin porn.

Missouri State Penitientary