Blues Brothers Prison
By Rebecca Drew
HAUNTING images have revealed the derelict remains of the once severely overcrowded American prison which was in operation for almost a century and a half and featured in the opening sequence of the John Landis hit film, The Blues Brothers.
The eerie snaps show the peeling walls, collapsing ceilings and rusted jail bars of the Joliet Correctional Centre. In other pictures, graffiti has been sprawled over the walls and mirrors whilst one image taken from the upper floor of the prison shows how the brick work has started to crumble, leading to disintegration of the floor.
Another image looks over the expanse of the overgrown prison grounds.
The stunning shots were taken by photographer for Places That Were, Jim Sullivan from Los Angeles, USA on a visit to the Joliet Correctional Centre, Illinois. Jim used a Sony DSC RX100M3 to take the photos, a camera he has used for the last year and a half.
“The Joliet Correctional Centre is a beautiful old Neo-Gothic style building that, despite its historical significance, has been left to crumble,” said Jim.
“The elegant details of the marble fireplaces, arched doorways, and wrought iron staircases make it easy to forget that the building once housed hundreds of violent criminals.
“I love that these sorts of images can stir the imagination and invoke a sense of wonder, even in people who are otherwise repulsed by the sight of boarded up buildings.
“Whenever I see photos of abandoned places, I can’t help but try to imagine the people who once lived and worked there and the circumstances surrounding their leaving.”
The Joliet Correctional Centre opened in 1858 and by 1872 it had over 1,200-inmates which was a record for the time. The prison closed in 2002 due to the condition of the building and budget cuts, the inmates and staff were transferred to Stateville Correctional Centre, Illinois.
“Every abandoned place has its own unique history and the people who lived there have interesting stories to share,” added Jim.
“Abandoned places can also teach us a lot about the consequences of bad policy and planning and the far-reaching effects they have on individual lives and communities.
“People usually ask me about how I find the places I explore and how I work up the nerve to venture into such creepy places.”
For more information see www.placesthatwere.com
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