September 18 , 2010


Pennsylvania’s Reform School


Originally the House of Refuge in Pittsburgh, the facility was moved to a healthier setting in 1876, taken over by the state, and converted into an institution for the incarceration of juvenile offenders. Local parents would threaten to send their children there if they misbehaved. Morganza has long been a draw for historical researchers, urban explorers, ghost hunters, and others interested to learn more about those who lived and worked there. Morganza was easily identified by its administration building capped by a striking copper cupola, located prominently just off Interstate 79 in Cecil Township. Its distinctive architecture was also featured in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs. Over the years, Morganza underwent several name changes. Standing as a containment campus for delinquent youths for just over 90 years, it later functioned as a facility to aid the mentally handicapped until its closure in 2000.

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