Lorton Prison was established in 1910 for the District of Columbia, United States. It first began as a prison farm called The Occoquan Workhouse for non-violent offenders serving short terms. In 1914, they established an adjacent reformatory. From 1931 to 1938, the inmates constructed into a 10-acre walled penitentiary division with heightened security.

The prison was known for its history and was a special part of the town, so instead of getting rid of that uniqueness, they decided to reuse the former prison buildings in order to preserve the historic character of the site. Redevelopment is beneficial in many ways and throughout this website, we see that Lorton’s population has continued to grow, while also maintaining a relatively low crime rate. Although people had complained when it was first finalized, it seems to have brought a bigger sense of community into the town.

The benefits of this redevelopment include…

  • An open space for the community
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Improved access to Giles Run Meadow Park
  • Beautification of the former prison
  • New living, dining, shopping and office space options
  • Integrated the former prison campus into the surrounding community
  • Preserving a nationally significant historic site

Turning the site into something they could use for their community and the people living in it not only provided social benefits, but it most likely boosted the economy as well. After the redevelopment process began, there was much room for new recreation things, including a golf course. With a new golf course, new living, dining, shopping, and office space options, there is more room for people to live and for people to create/open businesses, which means a greater flow of money. 

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