March 3, 2014 – About a mile or so away from the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art sits Eastern State Penitentiary.
The building opened on October 25, 1829, and was considered the world’s first prison designed for true penitence.
Many of America’s most notorious criminals spent time in one of the cellblocks here, including Al Capone.
The prison officially closed its doors in 1970, although it was briefly used to keep city inmates in 1971 after a riot at nearby Holmesburg Prison.
Today it operates as a museum and historic site, offering year-round tours. The photo above gives you a prisoner’s view of a closed cell door.
The crowds were few at the early hour on Saturday morning, which gave the cellblocks I strolled through alone a true eerie, abandoned feel.
After viewing the shower room, I have a new appreciation for my one and a half baths.
Hidden throughout the cellblocks I found many nooks and crannies like this one, although I’m not sure what purpose they served.
The peeling paint almost looks like pieces of glass on an unfinished mural.