Utah State Penitentiary

Utah State History Utah State History

The impending redevelopment of the 700 acre Utah State Penitentiary site in Draper has drawn attention to this complex of buildings and their reuse potential. The penitentiary’s modernist cell blocks were developed in the early 1950s to reflect avant-garde confinement and rehabilitation theories. To save money on the construction, however, the state repurposed bits and pieces of the old Sugar House Prison, including the late 19th century Johnson Locking Bars that today only exist at this site and at Alcatraz. Together with Draper’s Historic Commission, Preservation Utah feels that these cell blocks hold tremendous potential as office buildings and/or creative centers and are working with local and state officials to promote this vision. 

The Draper Utah Historic Preservation Commission has put together a vision website for the reuse of the prison.


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