Baltimore County’s detention center addition in the suburb of Towson looks more like a sprawling office building than a typical jail, says the Baltimore Sun. The design was intended to mollify neighbors who bitterly opposed the project, but it is not likely to accomplish that. “It peeves me every time I see it,” said Mike Ertel, who lives near the site. “This giant building sticks out like a sore thumb.”
Nearly five years after residents waged a fierce but ultimately futile battle against the project, the $74 million jail expansion is nearing completion. With windows placed higher up in the housing units, inmates in the new section won’t be able to communicate with – or bother – passers-by. Units closest to surrounding neighborhoods will include enclosed, concrete exercise yards illuminated by the building’s opaque windows and ventilated through a shaft that brings air in from outdoors. The 330,000-square-foot addition includes 784 inmate beds.