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The Chicago Traveler

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

by Matt B on July 21st, 2008

I sincerely hope that when you visit today's architectural feature, it is from the outside only. At the intersection of Clark and Van Buren Streets, located in downtown Chicago, is the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

chicago metropolitan correctional center

Completed in 1975, the MCC is a 289-foot tall (88 m) administrative facility, more commonly known as a prison. It houses federal prisoners of all security levels, both male and female. The unusual triangular shape minimizes the length of the corridors, shortening the route the guards must patrol.

People who work in high-floor offices in the surrounding area already know that the exercise yard is located on the building's roof, bordered by a 30-foot (9 m) concrete wall. Prisoners are given access to the outside area twice a week for two hours at a time (at most).

chicago metropolitan correctional centerchicago metropolitan correctional center

While you may think it odd that a jailhouse is located right in the middle of Chicago's busiest and most trafficked neighborhood (a mere block away from the Chicago Board of Trade and Harold Washington Library), most people live and work within just a couple blocks of the MCC without ever knowing it.

sears tower chicago board of trade metropolitan correctional center
The Diversity of Downtown
Sears Tower, Chicago Board of Trade, Metropolitan Correctional Center

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) puroticorico, get directly down, cms_, Miles 78

Metropolitan Correctional Center: 71 W Van Buren St; 312-322-0567
Public trans: Bus # 1, 7, 22, 24, X28, 36, 62, 126, 145, 151
Orange/Pink/Purple/Brown Line train (LaSalle)

POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions

3 opinions for Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

  • no imageAlex-Sirened (Check me out!)
    Jul 22, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Cool post Matt! That’s really interesting and the prison is a pretty funky piece of architecture. Though it’s probably hard to appreciate it and the view if you live there ;)

  • Go Chicago Card
    Jul 22, 2008 at 10:01 am

    It really is a great piece of property. The architecture is great. I wonder if they will ever turn them into lofts?

  • no imageMatt B (Check me out!)
    Jul 22, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    @Alex, haha, yeah, it’s funny to think that a prison could be so aesthetically pleasing.

    @GCC, Oh goodness, I hadn’t even thought of that! At the rate at which everything is being turned into condominiums these days, who knows?

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