Arizona State Prison Plans - Trost Society

Arizona State Prison Plans

On January 1, 1908 Henry Trost arrived in Phoenix with preliminary plans for a new proposed penitentiary building that was to be built in Florence, Arizona. Architect Henry Trost along with auditor John Page, citizen member of the Board of Control J.J. Riggs and Superintendent of Prisons Thomas Rynning, traveled to Florence the next day to meet with Governor Kibby regarding the location for the prison.

Three sites were examined by the members of the Board of Control. Prison Superintendent Rynning and Architect Trost were present to consult with the board members regarding several matters in connection with the location of the prison. Each of the sites examined consisted of 160 acres, and none of them were more than a mile from Florence. The south side of the planned prison ran along the Florence canal and water could be used to irrigate every foot of the land. The southeast corner of twenty acres was mesa land, overlooking the surrounding county. Part of the twenty acres would be enclosed by an eighteen-foot concrete wall.

In the center of the enclosure there was to be a tower surrounded with eight buildings for the prisoners. The plans called for accommodations for 800 prisoners, but only 500 would move in when the building was completed. The budget for construction was $120,000, with the prisoners providing all of the labor.

In March, six sets of plans for the Arizona State Prison were presented to the Territorial Board of Control. The architects that submitted plans were F.G. Brown of Los Angeles, Trost & Trost of El Paso,  Thornton Fitzhugh of Los Angeles, L.C. Knipe of Phoenix, F. Mc L. Brinkerhoff of Bisbee and P.H. Loss of Casa Grande.

On April 8, 1908 Trost was listed as the directing architect. Then on April 12, architect Thornton Fitzhugh’s plans were accepted by the Board of Control. The plans submitted by Trost and Trost showed merit but the board was most favorably impressed with the Fitzhugh plans. For more information, please see

Text written by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht , edited by Mark Stone

Additional Details

Other Names: Territorial Prison in Yuma
Type: Government
Construction Date: Jan 1, 1908
Address: Florence, Arizona, USA
Condition: Extant