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Clarion County Jail

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1873–1874, James McCullough Jr. Madison Rd. at 5th Ave.
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

The castellated battlements and central tower of the second Clarion County jail conjure up images of the castle keep, meant to terrify prisoners and serve as an object lesson to evildoers. Designed by McCullough and built by Samuel Wilson and W. W. Greenland, similar jails are in Kittanning in Armstrong County ( AR2) and Hollidaysburg in Blair County ( BL3). Prominent keystones top the elongated, round-arched windows of the facade and three side bays while the rear five bays have small, rectangular windows lining each of the cell block's two stories. Twenty cells surround an interior courtyard measuring fifteen by fifty-six feet. The warden's three-bedroom apartment occupied the bays on the building's front. Its kitchen had a pass-through to the locked portion of the jail, allowing one kitchen to serve the warden's family, inmates, and guards. The warden lived on the premises until 1972. Inmates were kept here until 1995, when they were moved to a new facility in Paint Township. Today, the building houses a treatment facility.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Clarion County Jail", [Clarion, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 452-452.

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