Ben Sussman Photography | The Eastern State Penitentiary - a Marvelous Photo Opportunity
130807_733130807_733The National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery

The Eastern State Penitentiary - a Marvelous Photo Opportunity

November 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I went back to my home town, Philly, recently to visit my favorite prison, which also happens to be the first of its kind in the nation. This fortress-style structure covers 4 square blocks and was built in 1805 to house incorrigibles in solitary confinement. the system of buildings is designed in a hub-and-spoke style for easy monitoring. It opened to the public only recently, having been dormant and shuttered for about 30 years after the last prisoner was moved, in 1971. 

The prison is a truly a magnificent, authentic structure, with very little museum-style curation or rehabilitation. I photographed mostly in black-and-white, in order to emphasize the bleakness of the place. 

A-Wing


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