Feb 26, 2009
Years of Active Use: 142
Architect: John Haviland (1792-1852)
Initial Expense: $770,000 (second only to the U.S. Capital in expense of an American building to date)
Floor Plan: Radial (cellblocks meet in the center);
also called "Hub and Spoke."
Area: 10.5 acres
Height of Outside Walls: 30 + feet
Width of Outside Walls: 8 feet at the base
Length of Outside Walls: Exactly 1/2 Mile
Number of Original Cellblocks: 7
Number of Cellblocks Eventually Built: 15
Number of Cells: 980
Innovations: Indoor plumbing and central heat before the White House
Original Corrective System: "Confinement in solitude with labor"
Name of this New System: The Pennsylvania System
Number of Prisons Modeled after Eastern State Penitentiary: Roughly 300
Year the Pennsylvania System was Officially Abandoned: 1913
Number of Inmates Originally Intended for the Penitentiary: 256
Number of Inmates Held by the 1920s: 1,700
Total Number of Men and Women Who Served Time at ESP: Roughly 75,000
Famous Former Inmates:
Willie Sutton (1942-1946); "Pep the Dog" (1924-?); and Al Capone (1929-1930)
Named to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places : 1958
Named a National Historic Landmark: 1965
Property Owned by: The City of Philadelphia
Year Eastern State Opened as a Historic Site: 1994
Number of Visitors in first year of tours (1994): 10,450
Number of Visitors to Historic Site in 2006: 148,353
Historic Site Season: April Through November
Major Fund Raisers: Bastille Day and Halloween
Insiders Call Eastern State: "E.S.P."
Travel Tips: Dress comfortably (it's essentially an outdoor tour), wear walking shoes, and don't forget your camera!