HOW A PRISON BECAME HOMES FOR THE NEEDY

All of the bars have been pulled from the windows of what was Georgia's oldest prison. An elevator is being installed, and a front porch was added to create a new entrance for the low-income apartment building that the 100-year-old building has become. The heart of the concrete hulk, a wide corridor with stone staircases at each end, was transformed into a three-story atrium complete with hanging plants and a marble floor. (The marble and many other materials were donated by local distributors.) Part of the original prison kitchen now houses laundry facilities and a commons area with tables, chairs, and vending machines.

The prison's blacksmith shop, where prisoners once forged manacles and chains, is being converted into a chapel and day-care center with playground facilities.

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