Red Hat cellblock rededicated

ANGOLA, La. (AP) - It was once the last place prisoners at Louisiana State Penitentiary wanted to go.

Now Red Hat, as the cellblock was known, is back in business at Angola, not for prisoners this time, but as part of the prison's museum,

The Advocate reports that members of the Angola Museum's board of directors and others met Friday to rededicate the 40-cell facility, built in 1935 and used as a maximum security facility until closed by federal court order in 1973.

In a project financed by the museum board, some of the prison's best inmate craftsmen restored the Red Hat's cell-door gang-locking mechanism, salvaged and installed vintage toilets, and thoroughly cleaned and painted the interior and exterior.

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