Officials to discuss Missouri State Penitentiary

Gov. Jay Nixon is announcing plans for the historic Missouri State Penitentiary that was closed to visitors after high levels of mold were found this fall.

Nixon scheduled a news conference Wednesday with Jefferson City officials to discuss the future of the prison that housed inmates starting in 1836. The facility was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi River when the state shut it down in 2004.

The penitentiary overlooks the Missouri River a few blocks from the state Capitol and has become a significant attraction in Jefferson City. More than 19,000 people from 23 countries visited in 2012, generating about $275,000 in revenue. Tours were cancelled for the remainder of the year after mold was found this fall.