Old Paknam Prison

December 7, 2006
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Samut Prakan Central Prison was formerly located at 163 Amondet Road, Tambon Paknam, Amphoe Muang. The prison was built in 1937 and covered an area of 5.33 acres or 21,600 square metres. The area inside the prison walls was 3.45 acres or 14,000 square metres.

In 1976, the Department of Corrections changed the status of the prison to “Samut Prakan Central Prison”. Mr. Winyoo Panit was then appointed the first governor of the prison. However, he was soon facing a problem of overcrowding and an inability of expansion due to the location of the prison in the city centre.

We took the above picture in 2003. By this time they had already pulled down the buildings inside the prison and are about to start on the walls. A billboard at the time declared that this area was being turned into a public park. The prison inmates had already been moved to the new prison at Klong Dan in May 2001.

In October 2005, when this photograph was taken, all that was left of the prison were the watch towers and the partly demolished administration building. The plans for the area had been upgraded to a more ambitious 139 metre high tower which would have restaurants and museums.

This is the doorway to one of the watch towers. The doors were on the outside of the walls. The wooden spiral staircase to the top is now unsafe to use.

This satellite picture dates back to about 2005. At the top of the picture is the Criminal Court and City Hall. Both of these are alongside the Chao Phraya River. The insert is an aerial picture of the prison taken in the 1950’s. In the satellite picture, you can just make out the outlines of the buildings.

These are the architect plans for the tourist tower in the grounds of the old prison.  It looks like they are planning on keeping some of the watch towers in the surrounding park. The foundation stone laying ceremony took place in May 2007. The Paknam Tower was due to be finished by 2009.

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