Eastern State Penitentiary

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Again I find myself so excited to write a review I just can’t wait to share! The Eastern State Penitentiary is such an incredibly fascinating heritage place. I’m going to start with a little bit of history then move into my experience of the site. There is so much I want to cover so I’m going to try my best to summarise as much as possible and hopefully persuade you to visit for yourself!

The Eastern State Penitentiary is regarded as one of the most famous prisons in the world. It was opened in 1829 and functioned as a prison until 1971. According to their website, this prison was the first true penitentiary, meaning a place designed to “inspire penitence”. As opposed to other prisons at the time, namely Sing Sing in New York, the Penitentiary favoured solitary confinement over physical punishment. Bit by bit the prison closed and eventually was left to ruin. The decision had to be made with what to do with the site. Some wanted it completely demolished but others argued it should become a shopping mall. On the eve of the decision, a group of historians and preservationists fought to keep the site as a reminder of America’s past. Luckily, they won and now it is a site of stabilised ruin. I will write so much more on this concept later but let’s get into the site itself. Continue reading “Eastern State Penitentiary”