The Tennessee State Prison was built in 1898 and is known as not only a sometimes very dark piece of our state's history, but also as one of the most beautiful old buildings in Nashville.
The complex was intended to hold 800 prisoners, but had a long history of overcrowding, starting with the day it opened, when over 1,400 prisoners were committed to it. Similar to what you see in old prison movies like Shawshank Redemption, prisoners were put to work - sometimes up to 16 hours a day - in order to "offset" the cost of their incarceration. Oftentimes inmates complained of being underfed and being forced to live in unventilated quarters.
While the prison isn't notorious in the way that some of its counterparts are, it did have it's fair share of newsworthy events, including a mass escape plan in 1938 and a group of inmates that blew out one wing of the prison in 1902. It's also seen it's fair share of Hollywood movies, most notably as the prison exterior in The Green Mile.
The prison closed in 1992, but the building still stands intact just off of Briley Parkway in West Nashville. While few are allowed inside the grounds due to the deteriorating state of the architecture, the Department of Corrections sent a drone inside the prison to give us a spooky look into the city's past.
If you like old buildings and history...stay through the whole video. It's 17 minutes long and I get that's FOREVER...but it's worth it.