Moody. Crumbling. Haunting. Once the crown jewel of the Pennsylvania Corrections system, Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) was abandoned in 1971 after continually housing inmates for 142 years. Known for its distinctive wagon-wheel design and its system of keeping inmates in isolation so that they could contemplate their sins and their penitence, ESP housed some of the most notorious prisoners including Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton.
I was lucky enough to attend a private tour of ESP this afternoon and visit some of the cellblocks not open to the public, including Cellblock 14–the only Cellblock that curves. The first of my photo series is below, with more to come in the next week.
An interesting side note, one of the residence halls (Missouri Hall) at Truman State where I went to college was built using the same wagon-spoke design seen at ESP. ESP below, Missouri Hall underneath.
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