I love funky museums that show me something different and unexpected and the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was just the thing. A real functioning prison from 1821 to 1971 turned museum this will give you a chance to revisit the history of how prisons evolved over the years. It’s not only about incarceration, and the American insanity in putting a large population behind bars for long periods of time, it’s a history of humanity, of society, of crime and justice, it has all the ingredients of a great historical attraction and a museum – it uncovers something new and it really makes you think long and hard about real practical matters in life. Just to keep the easily bored among us entertained, the prison museums also offers grand entertainment in the form of prison breaks, and the stories of legends – Willie Sutton and Al Capone.
So, this place has it all. I’d go as far as saying this is a must-do when visiting Philli. Make sure you have a few hours to really make the most of this place.
To give you a feel for things… gloomy and scary…
If you wondered what being Al Capone will get you in prison…
And, oddly enough, there are a few art installations, like this car – for example, stripped out of its identity and somehow brought into this tiny cell to make a strong point.
Do not miss this.