This Beautiful Library Used to Be a Prison
This is the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City, Canada. It was originally built by the French in 1712 as a redoubt. After the British conquest, it served as a prison. The current building was constructed from 1808 to 1813 to continue that role. Prison reformer John Howard designed it as a place to incarcerate but also hopefully reform convicts. It offered workshops and individual cells and segregated prisoners based on the severity of their offenses. It also had an iron balcony for a gallows.
The prison was closed in 1867 and turned over to Morrin College, the newly formed English language school for Quebec City. The Literary and Historical Centre of Quebec took up residence in the renovated prison. When Morrin College shut down, the Society remained in place.
It's still there at the prison, which is now it is the home of the only English language library in Quebec City. As you can see from the Centre's Facebook page, where I found these pictures, it's beautiful.
-via Marilyn Terrell
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