ST AUGUSTINE OLD JAIL - Orlando / Florida Guide
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St Augustine Old Jail is also known as Authentic Old Jail and is in the lovely, historic city of St Augustine. This is part of the trolly tour you might choose to take or you can visit independantly.
St Augustine Old Jail is on the U. S. National Register of Historic Buildings and is indeed one of the oldest civic buildings in Florida.
This prison was built in 1891 by the Pauly Jail Building and Management company and they famously went on to build Alcatraz. A substantial amount of money was put up for this by Henry Flagler; the railway tycoon and it replaced the old jail.
The prison was built in the Romanesque Revival style with Victorian touches and the brief was to make it look like an hotel. This may well have been true of the outside but as you will see was not of the awful inside.
There were 4 prisoners to each tiny cell and there was no plumbing or glass in the windows. There was a cell for men condemned to death where the view was quite deliberately of the gallows being constructed. These hangings were a great draw for local people who thoroughly enjoyed them.
The conditions were inhumane to say the least with over crowding and austere conditions. Therefore, it was amazing to find that the Sheriff and his wife and family were housed in the same building with only a door separating them from all this human misery.
They even shared a kitchen with the prison and whilst their accommodation was comfortable and clean enough for the times, it is unbelievable that you would bring up a family cheek by jowl with murdererers and criminals.
When you take the tour, your guide will be in character; which is some what of a surprise. He will treat you like a prisoner throughout the tour and I must say that our guide seemed to relish this.
You can get into the stocks and view all the cells and also see their large collection od old weapons.
The last prisoner left this jail as recently as 1953 but he at least benefited from the sewage system that was installed in 1914. During the early days men were imprisoned for trivial reasons such as being job less. Men and woman were housed here.
St. Augustine Old Jail
Operating Times: Daily. 8:30am to 4:30pm Closed Christmas Day.
Duration: 30 minutes
Booth Location: Old Jail, 167 San Marco Ave.
Nearest Intersection: San Marco Avenue and San Carlos
Parking: There is free parking at the Authentic Old Jail.
Age Requirements: Children prices are 6-12 yrs. of age. Children 5 yrs. and younger are free.
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