EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY

+1 215 236 3300
+1 215 236 3300
Vintage plate 2018

North of Philadelphia stands the impressive penitentiary of the penitentiary at the turn of a strong castle. Opened in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary revolutionized the prison community. For the first time, corporal punishment is banned, the prisoners are alone in their cells and we think reintegration rather than punishment. Benjamin Franklin is one of those who convinced the state of Pennsylvania to build such a prison, with individual cells. The penitentiary is a reflection of «quaker» thinking, which considers that every man is good at the origin and that solitude favors repentance. The visit allows you to discover the evolution of the site over the years. More recently, the prison served as a film scene, especially for the 12 monkeys with Bruce Willis or Far from Paradise, a film by Joseph Ruben with Joaquin Phoenix supposed to go to a Malaysian prison. The audiotour (narrated by Steve Buscemi, who played in The Big Lebowski or Reservoir Dogs, but also in the Boardwalk Empire series taking place in Atlantic City) is in English, but a paper translation in French is available at the entrance and makes it possible to miss nothing.

Block of Cells 1: this first cell corridor makes it possible to understand the difficulties encountered by the young architect John Haviland. The prison had to contain more than prisoners in a condition of total isolation while at the same time the White House did not have running water. This isolation system was therefore costly and difficult. It was even relatively controversial and ended in 1913. Indeed, the detainees were so alone (guards even wore socks on their shoes so that they could not be heard) that they became insane. In total, the prison has 15 blocks, or 980 cells.

Al Capone Cell: Al Capone was arrested in Philadelphia for illegal weapon use. He stayed here a year. While the Philadelphia court tried to do an example of the villain of Chicago, the guards of Eastern State were generous with him. They allowed Capone to enjoy a comfort that was generally not granted to detainees: radio, antique furniture, Persian carpets…

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Address and contacts :
EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY

2027, Fairmount Avenue
  Philadelphia
The United States Of America
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  • +1 215 236 3300

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    Members' reviews on EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY

    General note: 4.3/5
    Value for money
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    3 reviews
    4/5
    Value for money
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    Originality
    Visited in september 2018
    Visite très intéressante de cette prison emblématique. Beaucoup d'histoire a l'intérieur.
    Notice filed on 09/02/2019 
    4/5
    Value for money
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    Originality
    Visited in march 2017
    Ce pénitentier était encore en usage il y a un peu plus de cinquante ans. Les couloirs et les salles sont assez fraiches, prévoir un pull
    Notice filed on 04/30/2017 
    5/5
    Value for money
    Service
    Originality
    Une visite des plus surprenantes.
    Très original! A prévoir pour vos futurs city-trips à PHL!
    Notice filed on 06/26/2015 

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