Commission approves $800K to study future use of old Tennessee State Prison

Monday, August 20, 2012 at 2:23pm
0820 Tennessee State Prison topper.jpg
Tennessee State Prison (Courtesy Tennessee Department of Correction)

The State Building Commission approved a measure this morning to spend $800,000 on updating a master plan for the future use of the old Tennessee State Prison on Cockrill Bend in West Nashville.

The castle-like structure, which was used in the movie The Green Mile, has sat vacant since 1992. The state-approved money will help piggyback off a 2007 study regarding the building and surrounding properties.

One of the options for the building includes a $27 million renovation, according to a commission agenda. But Tennessee Department of Corrections Commissioner Derrick Schofield said abandoning the property wasn’t out of the question either.

“We’re going to examine all options,” Schofield told the commission. He added that land use options would also play a role in the decision.

Historic Nashville Inc. included the building on their Nashville Nine list of endangered properties in 2011.

10 Comments on this post:

By: Jughead on 8/20/12 at 1:03

Why does it cost 800k? Sheesh. Let's make it into a hybrid car-charging station. Then, listen to the crickets.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/20/12 at 3:40

$800K for a study????

By: Kosh III on 8/21/12 at 6:59

I'd guess the "study" is being done by consultants, which means it's little more than a payoff to a big donor, business buddy or corporate master.
Please note this is not a new study, but just a repeat of a study done only 5 years ago; what has changed? Nothing.

So much for "small government" and fiscal frugality.

By: bfra on 8/21/12 at 7:03

Kosh III - And if Karl has anything to do with it, that 800K will go to an out of state co..

By: girliegirl on 8/21/12 at 7:46

hmmm....not sure, but I think I just heard a "toilet flu$h"

By: Left-of-Local on 8/21/12 at 8:10

Someone should come to all of your workplaces and piss all over your salaries and professions. People do various jobs in a study of this sort, and deserve to be paid for their professional skills. The ignorant population will whine when it is "lowest bidder" work, but then when they see the cost for that lowest bidder, they also bitch.


By: pswindle on 8/21/12 at 10:16

The building should be used for something, but will the 800K go toward anything else except for a study.?

By: rdbjr on 8/21/12 at 9:41

Wait... I thought this stately old building was used in the movie "The Castle" with Robert Redford - not "The Green Mile."

By: PillowTalk4 on 8/23/12 at 7:50

For those who have already misplaced their criticism, this is a "State Building Commission" decision not the mayor of Nashville. Unless the State turns this building over the city of Nashville, the city will have no say so in the matter.

If you've never seen this building you should go take a look. It is actually a very spectacular structure. It would be great if somehow the building could be re-purposed. At least the administration part of the facility. As for the $800K being spent to study the building and what to do with it next, well, keep in mind that such studies could include a top to bottom physical analysis of the structure to determine feasibility tof use for other purposes. So the infrastructure of the building would need to be assessed. So there could be various types of consultants involved in this study to include design, structural and architectural engineers just to name a few I've worked many such consultant engineers in the private sector and they do not come cheap.

Currently that building is sitting unused, which means it is not a revenue source for the State of TN. While it has been used in a couple of movies and I believe a music video, that is not enough revenue generation to allow the building to sit while waiting on the next producer to call. I doubt very seriously the historical societies will allow the building to be raised to allow the property to be zoned industrial so that some warehouse type of facility could replace it. Hey, maybe that's the answer... re-purpose the building as storage warehouse. Surely each cell can be rented for people to store personal property in.... Think about how secure you'll feel knowing that your goods are protected by the State Prison of TN.

By: tardistraveler on 8/23/12 at 9:35

@rdbjr - The prison was used in both "The Last Castle" and "The Green Mile". But other than the movie uses, it's just sat vacant, so it makes sense to do the study and see if the building can be repurposed, or use the land for something else.

It IS a cool-looking building . . . I've been fascinated with it ever since I first saw it as a kid. The employees who used to work there called it "Disneyland".

I always thought it should be turned into high-security condos . . . lol (jk)