Aug 21, 2008
Event features interactive activities for families along with actors recounting the conflicting tales of the 1945 tunnel escape
Philadelphia, PA (July 5, 2008) Eastern State Penitentiary will host a Tunnel Escape Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3. The event, designed to commemorate one of the most famous prison breaks in American history, is included in the price of admission to Eastern State Penitentiary, located at 22nd and Fairmount in Philadelphia.
The event will feature interactive and take-home activities for families surrounding the subject of prison escapes. There will also be activities for families with younger children at the playground located at Brown and 2nd Streets behind the penitentiary. These activities will be geared to introduce families to Eastern State Penitentiary and its history.
As part of the events within Eastern State, two actors one portraying tunnel mastermind Clarence Klinedinst and one portraying bank robber Slick Willie Sutton will debate their conflicting accounts of who designed the tunnel, how it was built, and why the escapees got caught. Children and adults will get to vote on who they think is telling the truth. This debate will take place on the hour each day from 11 am to 4 pm.
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
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 worlds 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 Americas most notorious criminals, including bank robber Slick Willie Sutton and Al Capone.
Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capones Cell, and Death Row. A critically-acclaimed series of artists installations is free with admission. Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students, seniors, and children ages 7-12 (children under the age of 7 cannot be admitted to the site). The Penitentiary is open every day, year round. From April 1 to November 30, admission includes the Voices of Eastern State audio tour narrated by actor Steve Buscemi. Also included in admission are special guided tours on the subjects of daily life, escapes, prison uprisings, and artifacts. For more information and schedules, please call (215) 236-3300 or visit www.easternstate.org.