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Philadelphia Sights

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Updated 05/19/2011

Fodor's Review

Designed by John Haviland and built in 1829, Eastern State was at the time the most expensive building in America; it influenced penal design around the world and was the model for some 300 prisons from China to South America. Before it closed in 1971, the prison was home to Al Capone, Willie Sutton, and Pep the Dog, who killed the cat that belonged to a governor's wife. The audio tour of this ruin features narration by former guards and inmates—punctuated by cell doors

slamming and other sounds of prison life. The penitentiary, just a half mile north of the Rodin Museum, hosts changing art exhibitions, haunted house tours around Halloween, and a Bastille Day celebration the Sunday before July 14, with a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille.

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Sight Information

Address:

22nd St. and Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130, USA

Map It

Phone:

215-236–3300

Sight Details:

  • $12 adult; $10 senior; $8 student/child
  • Daily 10–5; last entry at 4

Updated 05/19/2011

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Emily

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

May 20, 2005

Solitary punishment

It was almost spooky walking into this place and understanding the way it was set up and the thinking behind that. Audio tour was well worth the time ... about half a day was spent just wandering around.

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