Secrets of New York – Behind Bars

       I’d rather be in bars, but that’s another story…

       The final chapter of the show that was aired on NYCTV called Secrets of New York is called Behind Bars, about the jails of New York City, and includes:   

  • Fort Williams (actually Castle Williams), built in 1811 to help defend New York Harbor, was used as a military prison during the Civil War, hosting up to 1,000 Confederate soldiers.  Later, boxer Rocky Graziano called it home for a while.
  • Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island was really a jail for smallpox victims, and Typhoid Mary was held there for more than 20 years.
  • Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913 as the world’s largest terminal.  It also included the apartment of tycoon John Campbell; after his death in 1957, it served as a jail for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Today, it’s been renovated and is an upscale cocktail lounge!
  • Rikers Island, which was originally a farm, is now the country’s largest municipal prison complex, with 10,000 officers and 130,000 prisoners.  It also displays a WPA mural from the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.
  • New York’s Criminal Courts Building was completed in 1931 near the Five Points “Den of Thieves.”  Behind the main court is a cellroom with 8 holding cells known as “The Pen.”

       As you know, New York City has a lot of history, including its jails!

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Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back often – I write and post every day!  And ifyou like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don,  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!  

And to view updated blogs in real-time, go to or – they’re both great sites 

RandolphMase, Fiction Writer 

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death in The Cloisters (under construction)

Nathan Hale



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