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Tennessee State Penitentiary


Outside Grounds

Welcome to a brief walk-thru of the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Let's begin with a few current shots of the TSP grounds.

Tennessee State Penitentiary

Tennessee State Penitentiary

TSP Grounds

TSP Photo of Cell C and D Building

TSP Outside Recreation


Inside the facility, we have photos of the entrance, a cell area and the gymnasium.

TSP Inside Entrance

TSP Cells

TSP Gymnasium

Mural Painted by Inmate

TSP Mural

TSP Mural

TSP Mural

TSP Mural

TSP Mural

TSP Mural


The Tennessee State Penitentiary opened just south of 7th Avenue and Broadway in Nashville in 1831. The facility initially housed both men and women. In the 1850's, inmates were employed to build the State Capitol.

In 1858, the state prison was moved to a location on Church Street in Nashville. TSP was then moved to its current location on Cockrill Bend Boulevard in West Nashville in 1898. The doors officially closed in June of 1992. Most inmates were transferred to the nearby Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.

For more information and historical photos of TSP, view our TDOC Historical Journey and the TDOC Timeline.

Historical Photos

1902 TSP - Prisoners in line entering dining hall

1902 - Prisoners in line entering dining hall

1946 TSP Death House

1946 Death House

1962 TSP Cell Block

1962 Cell Block


The Tennessee Film Commission is the project manager of the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Several movies have been filmed on this location. Click here for more information.

Due to the condition of the buildings, tours are not held.