One of the things on my "bucket list" whilst I was in Philly this past week was to visit the East State Penitentiary which I managed to do this afternoon.
A fascinating spot by all accounts and I used this first visit as a bit of a reconoitre as I know that I want to go back with my tripod and take some different (better) pictures than the hand held ones I managed today.
If you are a texture junkie you will think you have taken the fast track to heaven when you get here... lots of old paint and great colors on the walls. Wire, stone and plaster - all cracked and peeling away....
Opened in 1829, the prison was iconic in it's time, each cell occupant being kept in solitary confinement with two allotments of 10 minutes each day to exercise outside and the remainder of their day left for "contemplation".
The prison was active until 1970 when the last of the imates were sent to more modern facilities.
One of the most noteable criminals housed in the prison was Al'
(Scarface) Capone, arrested for carrying a concealed, deadly weapon.
This was Capone’s first prison sentence. His time in Eastern State was spent in relative luxury. His cell on the Park Avenue Block had fine furniture, oriental rugs, and a cabinet radio.
When the prison was viable there was heating and some modicum of plumbing and "flushing" facilities. Today however that is all decommissioned and the place is stone cold freezing! The website admonishes visitors to wrap up warm during winter months and is well worth taking to heart!
A chilly but very very interesting place to visit indeed!