Eastern State Penitentiary

On Saturday afternoon I went to go visit Eastern State Penitentiary with some friends of mine. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison located out the outskirts of Center City Philadelphia. By that I mean it’s “downtown” but it isn’t exactly among the skyscrapers. For those of you who’ve been to Philadelphia, Eastern State is a short walk from the area museum. Of course, at the time the prison was built in 1829, it was on the outskirts of Philly up on a hill. Today it’s surrounded by a nice residential neighborhood known as the Fairmount/Art Museum area. It was closed as a prison something like 40 years ago so it’s only open for tours and various other events these days.

The prison is of significance for many reasons. For one, it was the first “modern” prison in that it housed inmates separately. Second, at the time it was constructed, it was the largest building in the United States. Third, it was the first prison built with the intent to rehabilitate inmates as opposed to simply locking up inmates.

The cool thing about the tour is that it’s a self-guided audio tour and the prison itself is in a controlled state of “ruin” in that very little of it has been restored. In fact, much of it is falling apart although, from what I’ve been told, that is on purpose.

I’m testing out the image gallery feature in WordPress so I guess we can see if this works:

EDIT: I’ve just learned a few things about the WordPress gallery feature. For one, I can finally make pictures more than like 500 pixels wide so I can put higher res photos on my blog. Two, if you’re on the blog itself and not on an RSS reader, you can hover over the pictures for captions where I’ve put them in. Third, if you’re on the blog itself, you can click on the pictures and it’ll let you use the arrow keys or your mouse to scroll from left to right to see the pictures. You can read the captions, where available, at the bottom. I don’t think you can do any of this from the RSS reader unfortunately…

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