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Eastern State Penitentiary

  • Address: 21st St and Fairmount Ave
  • Hours: 10:00am to 5:00pm Daily
  • Phone: (215) 236-3300
  • Travel Genus: Sight , Visit
  • Sight Category: Museums
  • Activity Category: Tour
  • Available for private functions

Looking down these dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails, is awful. Occasionally, there is a drowsy sound from some lone weaver's shuttle, or shoemaker's last, but it is stifled by the thick walls and heavy dungeon-door, and only serves to make the general stillness more profound. Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house, a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired.... He is a man buried alive; to be dug out in the slow round of years.... Charles Dickens



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1829/10/25 John Haviland Architect Eastern State Penitentiary opens, probably the world's first penitentiary
1842/03/08 Charles Dickens Visitor Charles Dickens witnesses solitary confinement and visits several prisoners at Eastern State Penitentiary outside Philadelphia. American Notes Charles Dickens' 1842 Tour of America
1872/00/00 Charles T Yerkes Inmate Left insolvent and unable to make payment to the City of Philadelphia, Yerkes is convicted of larceny and sentenced to 33 months in Eastern State Penitentiary.
1929/05/00 Al Capone Convict Al Capone is convicted for possessing a gun in Philadelphia and is incarcerated at Eastern State Penitentiary.
1930/03/00 Al Capone Life Alphonse Capone is released from Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.

Data »

Particulars for Eastern State Penitentiary:
Sight Category Building
Criminal Justice Correctional Facility
Criteria Historic Event
Level of Significance National
Area of Significance Social History
Owner State
Area of Significance True Crime

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration:

Registry Name:
Registry Address:
Registry Number: 66000680
Resource Type:
Owner: State
Architect: Haviland,John
Architectural Style: No style listed
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark, National Landmark boundary approved
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Social history
Applicable Criteria: Event
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849
Significant Year: 1829, 1913
Historic Function: Government
Historic Sub-Function: Correctional facility
Current Function: Government
Current Sub-Function: Government office

Activities »

Activity Category Tour

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