Updated July 25th: Considering the Democratic Convention is in Philly and Bernie’s supporters are shouting #LockHerUp, let’s revisit the Eastern State Penitentiary and see if there’s room for Hillary, or Debbie, or anyone for that matter. If the Dems thought their convention was going to be all about kumbaya and unity, it’s not so much. I posted several versions of this video on my Twitter feed today, picked up and retweeted well over 100 times. The video clip is incredible. Bernie should be ashamed at himself for not being out there with these people who fought very hard to get him as far as he did. He’d be nothing without them yet he’s inside speaking about how they must elect Hillary. Maybe it’s BERNIE who should have a room at this prison.
From the original dated October 2015
What fun we had taking a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. It’s a must when in Philly and we went just as it opened at 10 so it was pretty empty, with the exception of a few school groups.
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.
Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts.
Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.
A few of Eastern’s finest….the women prisoners were in a certain cell block and at some point, black and white inmates were segregated too. There was no love loss for the early Latino prisoners.
The long cold corridors but interesting, each cell had a sky light.
These two guys are SERIOUS criminals here in Philly today – wearing Notre Dame sweatshirts!!! The huge game tomorrow is Temple (undefeated) v. ND – even ESPN Zone is here in Philly and lots of streets are closed tomorrow for the show. Book ’em Dano.
Staged to resemble how a cell might have looked in its day.
Up a very tall staircase, a view of the second story solitary confinement cells. A couple of movies have been filmed here – no surprise, and brilliant villain character actor Steve Buscemi was the voice of our audio headsets.
An overview of the shape of the penitentiary
Along one cell block were photos of one time prisoners, along with audio from a few still alive, recounting their days at Eastern.
This poster is pretty poignant.
Peekaboo, I see you.
What one of the cell blocks looked like.
Once outside, there were several graphs outlining the racial percentages in the prison over the decades. Here we caught up with the school groups and it was interesting to listen to different teachers talk about race. It was obviously uncomfortable for them as they didn’t want to address how large the black population is in jails now, as well as the Latino population. Me, as a teacher, I’d state the facts. Not dance around it. How are kids going to learn otherwise?
Political PC crap………
I’d like to take this greenhouse home with me. I hope it doesn’t get leveled.
Bottom line, the penitentiary is going to be saved and maybe restored, although the way it looks now is a far better vibe than if it were renovated. The creepiness factor comes in the form of the walls crumbling and, we were told, the ghost spirits of several inmates haunt the place. I believe it. They have a special nighttime haunted tour. Day time was fine for us.
Do this when you are next in town.