Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Old Knox County Jail

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Institution Name: Knox College
Original/Historic Place Name: Knox County Jail
Location on Campus: Cherry St. and South St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1874original construction Quayle, William
1996renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: granite
Walls: brick
Roof: none specified
ca. 1874other (county jail)
ca. 1874private residence (of jailkeeper)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (offices)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (storage)

Significance: architecture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterKnox County Jail (1992)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Knox County's 19th-century jail is a peculiar marriage of residential and institutional architecture wrapped up in a single well-proportioned and finely detailed building. The residential portion of the building, which housed the jailer, his family, and female prisoners, is a classic Victorian interior of high-ceilinged rooms arranged around a central hall and staircase connecting the home's two floors. In the back half of the building, three tiers of individual cells and their hardware survive as intact examples of late 19th-century practices of incarceration and punishment. The residential portion of the building was renovated in 1996. The cellblock remains as originally built.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Knox County Jail [Knox College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1992.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices

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Last update: November 2006