Last weekend I visited Eastern State Penitentiary with the hubby. He got us the tickets as part of my anniversary gift. Eastern State Penitentiary is located in Philadelphia and was built in 1829. It was one of the first true penitentiaries which inspired penitence through solitary confinement, religion and work. The exterior has a gothic look while the halls were made to give the feel of a church. The inmates cells were concrete walls with a metal door and a wooden door and it contained a single skylight to make them feel like God was always watching them. Eastern State Penitentiary housed some well known criminals such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Eventually the prison was closed in 1971 and while the government tried to figure out what to do with it the structures fell into decay and nature started to take over and the yards and cellblocks filled with trees and other plant life. Twenty three years later the prison was opened up for tours and is known as a living ruin because no real significant restoration is being done except for stabilizing the deterioration and keeping areas safe for tours.
It was a fun experience hearing the history of Eastern State Penitentiary and walking through its decayed halls and cells. I definitely recommend it if you are ever in Philadelphia.
I took a lot of pictures while there and decided to use them in an art journal spread. I might even create another page or 2 next week. I would have done it this week but I ran out of time. You can view my pictures here.