You are here

Old Montgomery County Jail

-A A +A
1851, Napoleon LeBrun. E. Airy and Maris sts.
  • Old Montgomery County Jail (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • (© George E. Thomas)

LeBrun drew on John Haviland's landmark Eastern State Penitentiary ( PH126) for the formidable Gothic facade, with perhaps a nod to LeBrun's teacher Thomas Ustick Walter in the central tower above the main block that recalls the demolished Moyamensing Prison. The mass of the walls and the great portcullis seem to communicate, “Abandon Hope, all ye who enter here.” In the cells to the rear, the grim “Pennsylvania system” of solitary confinement was practiced. The building is currently vacant and awaits a new use.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Old Montgomery County Jail", [Norristown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 203-203.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,