Created By: Amanda Monahan
Eastern State Penitentiary was opened in 1829 just outside of Philadelphia. It was created to fulfill the Pennsylvania Prison Societies' mission to create a “house of repentance”(Smithsonian). With the increase in violent crimes within the Philadelphia area, this society believed that a place of punishment should be created to properly charge criminals. The entrance of this prison was the place that many inmates couldn’t see, however they could feel their freedom slip away. With a total of 15 cellblocks, the many prisoners entered their future with a bag over their heads. Although this was used for identity protection, it also served as a precaution to stop prisoners from escaping.
The entrance is where criminals enter into their new life of punishment and regret their actions. The darkness and the architectural features of the buildings were there to “strike fear into the hearts of those who thought of committing a crime” (John Haviland). When visitors came, the design and entrance were used to scare and try and prevent others from becoming inmates.
This point of interest is part of the tour: The Eastern State Penitentiary by Amanda Monahan - Copy