New York State Commission of Correction Blueprint Plans, Drawings, and Specifications for Improvements to State and Municipal Jails, Penitentiaries, and Public Buildings

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of blueprints of city and county penal facilities prepared by municipal architects and departments of correction and submitted to the State Commission of Prisons for approval. Records include building plans, details, and sections, specifications for police stations, city jails, jail portions of office buildings, and county penitentiaries. The Dutchess County Court House, the Peekskill Jail, and the Albany County Jail are particularly well documented in the records.
circa 62.7 cubic feet (includes circa 450 blueprints and 1,000 plans): blueprints, some annotated; 102 x 113 cm or smaller.
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1898-1940
Bulk Dates:
circa 1923-1929
Series Number:


Arranged by facility.

A3317-06A: Chronological.

A3317-08, A3317-08A, A3317-12: Unarranged.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of several sets of blueprints of city and county penal facilities that were prepared by municipal architects and departments of correction and submitted to the State Commission of Prisons. The Commission (which became the State Commission of Correction in 1926) was empowered to oversee the operation of state and local correctional facilities, to inspect the penal institutions to insure they adhered to standards, and to promote their humane and efficient administration.

The records include building plans, details, and sections, and some specifications (on the labor and material for plumbing and drainage) for police precinct stations, city jails, jail portions of office buildings, and county penitentiaries. Some blueprints are annotated and reflect improvements undertaken at the facilities; others appear to be file copies.

A3317-78: This accretion contains approximately 175 plans divided among the following subsets: Erie County Penitentiary, Wende, N.Y., and jail portion of an office building for the Village of Aurora, N.Y.; Schenectady City Jail, and police precincts numbers 2-6, 9-11, 13-14 in the City of Buffalo; Riker's Island Penitentiary, New York City; and Albany County Jail, Colonie, N.Y.

Most of the blueprints carry their own title, legend, and name of architect. The sets for the Albany County Jail are the most voluminous, and one also includes a location map. Sizes of the blueprints vary widely.

A3317-78A: This accretion consists of one blueprint, dated 1907, showing floor plans for a remodeled second floor and a third tier of cells at the Steuben County Jail.

A3317-04: This accretion consists of blueprint plans, drawings, and specifications pertaining to the construction or alteration of numerous state, county, and municipal correctional facilities. Facilities to which the records pertain include the State Reformatory at Elmira; Attica State Prison; Oneida County jail and sheriff's residence; Oswego County jail and sheriff's residence; Dutchess County courthouse and jail; City of New York police station, eighteenth precinct; City of Albany police stations, first and third precincts; Buffalo police station numbers 3 and 7; City of Beacon police headquarters and jail building; Poughkeepsie city hall building; Green Island jail; Pawling municipal building; and Elmira Heights town hall. Several blueprints and one set of specifications do not indicate the facilities to which they pertain.

A3317-06: This accretion consists of approximately 1000 blueprint plans. The plans range in size up to circa 36 x 54 inches. A few specifications and other documents are also present.

A3317-06A: This accretion includes the blueprints, drawings, and specifications for improvements to City Hall in Johnstown, N.Y., Sing Sing Prison, Warren County Jail, and City Hall in Dunkirk, N.Y.

A3317-08: This accretion includes mostly contracts and specifications. Facilities to which the records pertain include Elmira Correctional Facility, Sing Sing Prison, Eastern New York Reformatory, and Erie County Penitentiary.

A3317-08A: Facilities documented in this accretion include Kings County Civil Prison; Police Headquarters and 150th Precinct House; Municipal Building and Fire Hall, Watkins Glen; Brookhaven Town Hall, South Portion, Patchogue; City Prison, Brooklyn; New Jail Bldg, Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County; Cedar St. Jail, Syracuse, Onondaga County; Ontario County Jail, Canandaigua; Chautauqua County Jail; Onondaga County Jail; Municipal Bldg, Liberty; Rikers Island; Magistrate's Court, Rockaway Beach; Court House #151, East 57th St.; House of Detention, Women, NYC; 40th Precinct, Bronx; Queens County Jail; 18th Precinct Police Station; Bronx County Court Bldg; 283rd Precinct; 25th Precinct Station; and Blackwell Island, Penitentiary Industrial Bldg.

A3317-12: This accretion contains blueprints, drawings, and specifications for police stations, city halls, city and county jails and court houses, and state prisons. In particular, the Peekskill Jail and Dutchess County Court House are well documented by the records. State prisons documented by the records include Great Meadow Prison, Woodbourne Prison, Sing Sing Prison, Clinton Prison, and Westfield State Farm.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Documents relating to existing correctional facilities and other facilities may be withheld under FOIL sect. 87.2(f) ("if disclosed could endanger the life or safety of any person").

Restricted: Certain items are extremely fragile. Use under supervision or with assistance of archivist due to fragile condition.

Related Information

Other finding aids

A3317-78: Unprocessed material in 6 cartons: very rough list of sample contents only.

A3317-04: Container list.

A3317-06: Folder list and roll list.

A3317-08A, A3317-12: Folder list.

Processing Information

A3317-04: The State Library transferred these records to the State Archives in 1978. The records were accessioned in conjunction with a project undertaken by Archives staff in 2004 to describe or integrate estrayed or unidentified records.

A3317-06, A3317-06A: These plans and drawings were most likely transferred to the State Archives by the New York State Library sometime in 1978 but for some unknown reason became alienated from the original accession until they were identified and accessioned as part of the 11th floor renovation project.

Access Terms

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