Designed by John Haviland and opened on October 25, 1829, Eastern State is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary. The guards at the prison became renowned for their cruelty and creativity when it came to disciplining prisoners, both physically and psychologically. Contrasting death row is an upgraded cell belonging to one of Eastern State’s most famous prisoners, Al Capone. In reality, the guards and councilors of the facility designed a variety of physical and psychological torture regimens for various infractions, including dousing prisoners in freezing water outside during winter months, chaining their tongues to their wrists in a fashion such that struggling against the chains could cause the tongue to tear, strapping prisoners into chairs with tight leather restraints for days on end, and putting the worst behaved prisoners into a pit called "The Hole", an underground cellblock dug under cellblock 14 where they would have no light, no human contact, and little food for as long as two weeks. The prison also became home to many stray cats. It cost nearly $780,000 and was one of the most … "[10], Originally, inmates were housed in cells that could only be accessed by entering through a small exercise yard attached to the back of the prison; only a small portal, just large enough to pass meals, opened onto the cell blocks. Eastern State Penitentiary Tickets. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod. One of the most famous bank robbers in American History, "Slick" Willie spent 11 years at Eastern State Penitentiary. Crude prisons existed only to contain criminals until they went to trial. Designed to promote the moral reform of prisoners by imposing a regimen of silent, solitary self-reflection, the penitentiary became the purest example of the "Pennsylvania plan" of "cellular isolation." Each cell had a small, private exercise yard attached. At least two music videos have been filmed in Eastern State: On July 29, 1985 Tina Turner filmed her "One of the Living" video in the abandoned prison. Some deeper research after our field trip reveals that prisoners often did go mad while imprisoned at Eastern State Penitentiary. The Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 with the purpose of offering a new and humane kind of prison reform for its convicts in what is known as the Pennsylvania system. Eastern State Penitentiary: Crucible of Good Intentions. Cell accommodations were advanced for their time, including a faucet with running water over a flush toilet, as well as curved pipes along part of one wall which served as central heating during the winter months where hot water would be run through the pipes to keep the cells reasonably heated. Haviland found most of his inspiration for his plan for the penitentiary from prisons and asylums built beginning in the 1780s in England and Ireland. At the time this form of punishment was thought to be most effective. Eastern State Penitentiary had its first two female prisoners in 1831 with two more added eight months later They resided in an area separate from the men and worked in laundry and as coos. In 1945 Sutton, along with 11 other prisoners, escaped from Eastern State in an inmate dug tunnel that went almost 100 feet underground. The Penitentiary was intended not simply to punish, but to move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change. Its architectural significance first arose in 1821, when British architect John Haviland was chosen to design the building. Eastern State Penitentiary is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is considered one of the most haunted prisons in the world. This deserted prison, Eastern State Penitentiary, is actually one of the most popular tourist destinations in Philadelphia. The halls were designed to have the feel of a church. He died in 1980. Apparently at night ghostly orbs and lights appear. 1836 The original prison was finally completed and spanned eleven acres. Eastern State Penitentiary was originally intended to advance the cause of prison reform by focusing more on rehabilitation than on punishment even down to its name. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the worlds first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. His cell on the Park Avenue Block had fine furniture, oriental rugs, and a cabinet radio. )[20], The museum attracts close to 220,000 visitors each year. Eastern State's revolutionary system of incarceration, dubbed the "Pennsylvania system" or separate system, encouraged separate confinement as a form of rehabilitation. His time in Eastern State was spent in relative luxury. "Terror Behind the Walls" is an annual Haunted House Halloween event run by the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. (ESPHS). Eastern State's revolutionary system of incarceration, dubbed the "Pennsylvania system" or separate system, encouraged separate confinement as a form of rehabilitation. Before the American Revolution, crimes in the colonies were punishable by fines or by physical means — often in public. The notorious gangster actually served his first prison sentence here for possession of a concealed weapon. Eastern State Penitentiary was erected in 1829 and at the time, it was the largest and most expensive public structure in the country with a final price tag of $750,000. The prison is currently a U.S. National Historic Landmark,[4] which is open to the public as a museum for tours seven days a week, twelve months a year, 10 am to 5 pm. Vaux, Richard, 1816-1895. Female inmates were part of the landscape at Eastern State for almost 100 years, and Freda Frost was the last of them. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1994. Eastern State closes Eastern State Penitentiary officially closes. Intended as a model of Jacksonian penal reform, the Eastern State Penitentiary operated in the Cherry Hill section of Philadelphia between 1829 and 1970. Eastern State Penitentiary costs almost $780,000, one of the most expensive architectures in the United States at the time. On June 1, 2007, Most Haunted Live! When a prisoner left his cell, an accompanying guard would wrap a hood over his head to prevent him from being recognized by other prisoners.[11]. [21], The tour ends with an exhibit titled "Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration" which informs guests about the US prison system today and its failings. Eastern State Penitentiary is the former prison turned historical landmark & museum. Each cell was small, but had the relative luxury of running water and a latrine, along with a single skylight window called the Eye of God. To minimize the opportunities for communication between inmates Haviland designed a basic flush toilet for each cell with individual pipes leading to a central sewer which he hoped would prevent the sending of messages between adjacent cells. The Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 with the purpose of offering a new and humane kind of prison reform for its convicts in what is known as the Pennsylvania system. Many prisoners and guards were transferred to Graterford Prison, about 31 miles (50 km) northwest of Eastern State. [11], Some believe that the doors were small so prisoners would have a harder time getting out, minimizing an attack on an officer. Unfortunately, this momentary relief from silence brought on punishment. On April 3, 1945, a major escape was carried out by twelve inmates (including the infamous Willie Sutton), who over the course of a year managed to dig an undiscovered 97-foot (30 m) tunnel under the prison wall. In the 1920's and 1930's, one of the hardest Wardens came through Eastern State Penitentiary. U.S. National Register of Historic Places, List of National Historic Landmarks in Philadelphia, National Register of Historic Places listings in North Philadelphia, "Eastern State Penitentiary – Treasures of Pennsylvania", "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Eastern State Penintentiary", "Inside decaying US prison, former inmates are guides", "Perimeter Lighting | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Rotunda and Links Roofing | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Industrial Building Stabilization | Eastern State Penitentiary", "The Penitentiary Hospital | Eastern State Penitentiary", "The Penitentiary Greenhouse | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Funders for the Synagogue Restoration | Eastern State Penitentiary", "2007 – 2008 Solarium Roof Restoration Donors | Eastern State Penitentiary", "2008 – 2009 Kitchen and Bakery Roof Protection Donors | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Eastern State Penitentiary's Kitchen and Bakery | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Donors to The Operating Room of the Hospital Block | Eastern State Penitentiary", "The Operating Room of the Hospital Block | Eastern State Penitentiary", "Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary Announces 2017 Season with New Haunted Attraction Blood Yard", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHXLbp7x3MM, US National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania, History of the National Register of Historic Places. Who thought of committing a crime you see, Eastern State Penitentiary operates as location! 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