On Saturday the 13th of October, Autumn and I visited the Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs, IA. Here are some photos. Afterwards, we stopped off at the Harrah’s and Ameristar riverboat casinos.
The Pottawattamie County Jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States was built in 1885 and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The building is a Squirrel Cage Jail, also known as a Rotary Jail.
Construction of the jail was simultaneous with that of the county’s new courthouse, which was finished in 1888.It was designed by William H. Brown and Benjamin F. Haugh of Indianapolis, Indiana.It was built at a cost of $30,000. The building was one of 18 such jails that were built in the United States and the only one that was three-stories tall.The front part of the jail had offices for the jailer, kitchen, trustee cells and quarters for women. The rest of the building is made up of pie-shaped cells that revolved inside of a cage. The building was designed for maximum security with minimal contact between the prisoners and the jailers.The building was used as a jail until 1969.In 1971 the Council Bluffs Park Board acquired the building and in 1977 the county historical society took ownership of the building and maintains it as a museum.