Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eastern State Pen

Another place we visited in Philly was the Eastern State
Penitentiary. It was first built in 1776 and was known as the
Walnut Street Jail. In 1836, work was completed and 450 cells
were available to house inmates. Famous for its radial or
wagon wheel floor plan, over 300 prisons worldwide have copied
this architectural style. Some of America's most notorious
criminals were held within the Penitentiary's walls, including
Willie Sutton and Al Capone. After being totally abandoned
in 1971, preservation efforts continue and over 100,000 visitors
a year tour the prison remains. It is amazing that this giant,
walled piece of history still stands in the midst of a bustling

***photo by Willow


  1. Do you have any more photos? Very interesting place. I suppose it's a sort of Alcatraz East. Hopefully tourist dollars will help rebuild it. What a memorial!

  2. It seems like it must have been a very claustrophobic place for the inmates. I wouldn't have wanted to be locked up in there for long. It is a beautiful photo though. It certainly evoked some strong emotions in me when I saw it.

  3. Bill and Stevie,

    I was feeling very claustrophobic there! And yes, lots of strong emotional vibes. The mold was making my face and eyes swell, so I didn't get as many pix as I would have liked. The only other one I have is a horizontal one of the same location. The Bachelor took some great photos...I hope he will post his soon!

  4. Willow...very interesting and I enjoyed reading about this place....even more, I've enjoyed your photo.. just beautiful...I love everything about it...the colors..architectural features and light.....well done

  5. OK..Don't laugh too hard but I saw a great episode of Ghost Hunters(watching is a guilty pleasure) at Eastern State...This place is suppose to be very haunted and the team came away with some interesting footage. One investigator remarked about the feeling of unbalance when he was there-as if his equilibrium was off kilter...

  6. Neat architecture but definitely a no frills or comfort kinda place :P
    I'm enjoying the Philly tour by blog!

  7. Rebecca, I think that episode was available to purchase at the little gift shop counter. I would really like to see it. I am very sensitive to those kind of things and I was extremely uncomfortable in there. Lots of pressure and uneasiness. In fact, I left our group and waited for them at the entrance! (I am guilty of occasionally watching Ghost Hunters, too.) :)

  8. I love Ghost Hunters! I bet this place has many ghosts....and not all friendly ones, either!!

  9. Incredible photo. I imagine this place as very cold and clammy feeling, with echoes reverberating.

  10. Awesome photo--great perspective and light, and it draws the eye deep into the picture.

    I like wandering around old places, especially those rich in stories and history. If I ever get to visit Philadelphia, I'll have to spend days, soaking up all the interesting stuff I can.

  11. What an interesting place... gave me shivers. The picture is very evocative. I will try and visit next time I make it down to Philadephia... if I can get over my claustrophobia. GULP.

  12. what a wonderful haunting,interesting photo! i'm sure the place was a bit creepy though.

  13. the photograph is so compelling. it immediately evoked in me stories of misery and mayhem. wow! no wonder you had to go wait at eh door!
    your friend, the bird tweet robin from down the road


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)