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Morality : Slideshow

Monday, August 13, 2007

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary's Board of Commissioners hoped the building's grim facade would instill fear in the hearts of lawbreakers.“The exterior of a solitary prison should exhibit, as much as possible, great strength, and convey to the mind the misery which awaits the unhappy being who enters within its walls.” -Book of Minutes of the Board of Commissioners. March 26, 1822.

Photo: Albert Vecerka, 2001

Eastern State Penitentiary

Dramatic lighting illuminates the Eastern State Penitentiary's half mile long 30 foot high wall. The award winning lighting design highlights the Penitentiary's forbidding facade every night. Lighting design by The Lighting Practice.

Photo: Tom Bernard

Eastern State Penitentiary

1920s Facade with cars

Photo: Unknown

Eastern State Penitentiary

One of nearly 980 abandoned cells at Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. This cell once had central heat and a flush toilet when even the White House had no running water, and president Andrew Jackson used a chamber pot.

Photo: Albert Vecerka

Eastern State Penitentiary

When Eastern State Penitentiary was completed in 1836, it was know for its radial floor plan and central surveillance. All seven original cellblocks could be seen by a single overseer or guard from the Central Rotunda. However, when Cellblocks 8 and 9 were added in 1877, mirrors had to be installed in the hallway to allow guards to see down these new blocks from the center.

Photo: Albert Vecerka

Eastern State Penitentiary

When Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829, visitors from around the world marveled at its grand architecture and radical philosophy. With its high arched cathedral and over 1,000 skylights, the building feels more like a religious space.

Photo: Elena Bouvier, 1998

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first true "Penitentiary." In order to encourage penitence or true regret in the hearts of criminals, inmates would spend their entire sentence in solitary confinement. Meals were delivered to the inmates and they ate in their cells. Food carts ran on tracks along the catwalks in the two story cellblocks.

Photo: Elena Bouvier, 1998

Eastern State Penitentiary

Barber's chair

Michael Cevoli, 2005