Must-See Historic Penitentiary in Philadelphia
Eastern State Penitentiary
Our experienced slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia, enjoy exploring historic landmarks on the weekend and have sponsored this article.
Known as one of the most prominent and costly jails in the country, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia now stands as a piece of history with its eerie corridors, crumbling cells, and an empty guard tower.
The over 180-year-old historic site once incarcerated some of America’s most infamous criminals, including the notorious Al Capone and the famous bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton. Today, visitors get to experience the first real “penitentiary” with its impressive architecture and vaulted high ceilings.
Eastern State opened on October 25, 1829, and was designed by John Haviland. The revolutionary world’s first penitentiary created a new way for incarceration, nicknamed the “Pennsylvania system,” where they supported the idea of separate confinement as a type of rehabilitation for the prisoners.
The Auburn System was simultaneously criticized by the Pennsylvania system, which maintained that inmates should be expected to work together with no communication; otherwise, there could be physical punishment.
In 1965, the prison was marked as a National Historic Landmark, and by 1971 the prison was closed. After years of abandonment, the prison reopened in 1994 to the public for historical tours.
Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to explore the cells and spooky corridors of the facility. The prison offers both daytime and nighttime tours for visitors as well as group tours and school tours. The site also offers event rentals for photography or filming.
During your tour, the prison has various exhibits to discover, such as Al Capone’s cell, Murals of the Chaplain’s Office, and educational exhibits like The Big Graph, Jewish Life, and Hidden Lives Illuminated.
Schedule your visit today to begin your exploration of the world’s most well-known penitentiary.
If you’re interested in more outdoor activities in Philly, check out our favorite local park nearby.
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