United States Penitentiary -

category : Penitentiaries
United States Penitentiary - Leavenworth is best known for the "Federal Pen" or "Big House", which is now a medium-security prison. Construction of this historic prison began in 1897, with the first cell house opening in 1906. The Federal Penitentiary has been the home of Kansas City Boss Tom Pendergast, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, "Bugs" Moran, Manuel Noreiga, and Leonard Peltier. Their most famous prisoner was Robert Stroud, known in the movies as the "Bird Man of Alcatraz". In real life he did all of his bird work in Leavenworth, serving 28 years here before being transferred to Alcatraz.

A small herd of buffalo is located west of the main building and can be viewed from a pull-off area on Metropolitan Avenue on the north side of Leavenworth. NOTE: No public tours are available but can be photographed from across Metropolitan Avenue.

Come visit us in Leavenworth, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

First City Museum

The museum houses collections of early frontier memorabilia and artifacts including buggies and cutters manufactured in Leavenworth. There is also a mock-up of the United States Penitentiary, plus other prison memorabilia.

Leavenworth, KS Museums

Performing Arts Center

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1938

Leavenworth, KS Theatres

Riverfront Convention & Community Center

One of Leavenworth's "jewels" is the totally renovated and expanded 1888 Union Pacific Train Depot, now called the Riverfront Convention & Community Center. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 123

Leavenworth, KS Community Centers

C.W. Parker Carousel

Ride a restored antique wooden 1913 Parker carousel and tour the museum dedicated to telling the remarkable story of C. Parker, the "Carnival King". There are two other carousels in the museum. One is the oldest operating, hand-cranked, wooden carousel, built around 1860 and the other is a 1950

Leavenworth, KS One Of A Kinds

University of St. Mary

No longer a private institution, this four year college is located across the street from the Veterans Administration Center. The College's administration building, St. Mary Hall, was completed in 1870. Visitors are welcome to visit the De Paul Library's Special Collections:

Leavenworth, KS Colleges

Things to do Penitentiaries near Leavenworth, KS