Sugar Land Officially Released from Prison

Good morning, Sugar Land! As of today, the once-5,400-acre state prison in your midst is no longer. Down for the last decade to a 326-acre core of former Imperial Sugar-owned land near Hwy. 6 and Rte. 90A, the 112-year-old Central Unit shipped out its last prisoners earlier this month; the property was handed over to the state’s General Land Office yesterday. Sugar Land officials are interested in buying the property, but the decision to sell will be up to the 3-member School Land Board, which runs the investments of state’s Permanent University Fund.

Photo: Justin Dehn/Texas Tribune

9 Comment

  • It’s a little sad (in a very strange way) to see this place close down. I hope they preserve the more “historic” buildings in the complex–perhaps turn them into trendy apartments for yuppies once the area is converted into commercial and residential real estate.

  • They managed to save one of the other buildings that is now HMNS so there is maybe some hope. My understanding is that the City has earmarked it for mostly commercial rather than residential development.

  • @Justin–haha, I think? A section dedicated to Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special”?

  • And if you’re ever in Houston/
    Lawd you better walk right

    you better not gamble/
    you better not fight

    for the sheriff will grab you/
    and the boys’ll bring you down

    the next thing you know boys/
    you’re prison bound

    so let the Midnight Special/
    Shine a light on me

    Let the Midnight Special/
    Shine an ever-lovin’ light on me

  • So are they going to take down those awesome “do not pick up hitchhikers” signs? I love those.

  • Leave the “Do Not Pick Up Hithchiker signs”!!!!!

  • Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is much older, but it is a historic site that is used for tours as well as for contemporary art exhibits – – which is just an example of one good way Sugarland’s old prison building can be re-used.

  • Eastern State is right near downtown Philadelphia and only a few blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The vast majority of the visitors live within 75 miles of the place, which is a staple of grade school field trips in the Philadelphia region, along with the Philadelphia Naval Yard and the museums downtown. If this prison was in central Houston, it could probably work, but I think that it might be tougher out in Sugar Land.

  • I remember driving down there and seeing the prisioners out there working the fields. Sad to see it go.