Georgia March 27, 2017
10 Staggering Photos Of An Abandoned Prison Hiding In Georgia
On nearly 400-acres of abandoned land sits a beautifully decayed urban wonderland with a rich and sordid history. Back in October 2009, the roof of the building caught fire, and firefighters made a staggering decision that left the old prison in ruins. Deciding that the building wasn’t worth the effort and resources to contain, they left the fire to burn out on its own. Eventually it did, and the fire left the building in shambles, which only added to the allure and history that makes this place so unique.
The old Atlanta Prison Farm was a correctional facility between 1945 and 1995.
This gargantuan facility housed more than 700 beds for inmates, normally those who were minor criminals that could be rehabilitated back into society with some vocational training. Although it wasn’t a prison for severe criminals, you couldn’t tell by looking at it now after seeing the decay and ruin that the building is left in.
At the height of the inmate population, there were more than 1,000 inmates that called Atlanta Prison Farm home.
The prison had a large building which was used as the main building, and a smaller building which was more for administration purposes. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much space, especially when you see nature taking over slowly, and the kudzu vines growing out of control everywhere.
However, the land surrounding the prison was used for a variety of things, mostly agricultural.
The prison was originally a working farm, which consisted of dairy production, raising livestock and canning vegetables. This type of work that the inmates became responsible for ended up teaching important life skills during their incarceration. These skills were aimed to help them integrate back into society when their terms were served.
For almost three decades, this prison has sat rotting away in the middle of nowhere.
Yet, people seem drawn to the abandoned prison. While it remains a private property not allowing the general public, it seems people sneak onto the property anyway, disregarding the law. This is especially obvious when you see all types of graffiti and vibrant designs and drawings which now pepper the decayed walls.
But there is so much more to the history of Atlanta Prison Farm.
Not your average "jail", this old prison was actually started as an experiment in the 1920’s. Originally known as the "Honor Farm" this property housed criminals based on an honor system. There were no guards with guns, or bars, or even fences to keep any of the prisoners from escaping.
The Honor Farm became most productive under the first warden Pet Fry.
The land around the property was flush with agriculture and the prisoners used the area that was formerly marshes by the South River to help grow vegetables, crops, and cultivated grass for livestock to feed.
Throughout the years though, the prison became more strict in rules and put up fences and cells and everything that you would normally see in a prison setting.
The City of Atlanta bought the property and closed the farm permanently. The Honor Farm became defunct and eventually the space went to other areas for the prison use.
The outside of the building is most impressive, especially when you see what nature is slowly reclaiming.
There certainly is beauty in the breakdown of this old prison farm. Seeing the rot and decay of the space only adds to the beauty. When you can see light filtering through the cracks of the collapsed ceiling, it adds a bit of mystery and wonder to the building.
As with most abandoned buildings, there is something that is completely alluring about the Atlanta Prison Farm.
The fact that at one point this place was thriving with life is hard to imagine. Especially when you see the state of the building now. But when you see the fragments of what remains, cafeteria tables, jail cells, old showers—it all slowly starts to resemble something different.
The history behind the building tells and story, and the human beings that inhabited the building at some point in time called this place home.
Some photos of the Atlanta Prison Farm even capture those human beings who were confined at some point in time. Clearly there were still files and documents left inside the building, which still remain. Like a puzzle piece to an even bigger story, there is so much more to the Atlanta Prison Farm than meets the eye. This is shown with every rounding of the corner and stretch of abandoned hallway.
Today, the prison is a reflection of what once was in the state of Georgia. Part of the fabric of history, this popular abandoned spot showcases how time, circumstance, and nature can transform a once thriving piece of land and property. The future of Atlanta Prison Farm remains unknown, while some city officials are trying to turn the land into a regional park.
Thanks to YouTuber Duncan Meredith, you can see a drone view of what the Atlanta Prison Farm looks like from above:
Have you ever visited the Atlanta Prison Farm? Share with us your story!