Places to Shoot – ESP

Posted: April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized
Located in the city Philadelphia is the very interesting Eastern State Penitentiary. It’s been shut down for years, and going through stages of decay which makes for nice textured subjects. The gangster Al Capone spent time there, and you can see the cell he stayed in.
Eastern State Penitentiary broke sharply with the prisons of its day, abandoning corporal punishment and ill treatment. This massive new structure, opened in 1829, became one of the most expensive American buildings of its day and soon the most famous prison in the world. The Penitentiary would not simply punish, but move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change. The method was a Quaker-inspired system of isolation from other prisoners, with labor. The early system was strict. To prevent distraction, knowledge of the building, and even mild interaction with guards, inmates were hooded whenever they were outside their cells. But the proponents of the system believed strongly that the criminals, exposed, in silence, to thoughts of their behavior and the ugliness of their crimes, would become genuinely penitent. Thus the new word, penitentiary. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton, and gangster Al Capone.
It’s very interesting to see this unique setting, and for a photographer it’s all about the textures of the crumbling walls and paint.
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  1. Cyndy Allen says:

    What an interesting place! Thanks for exposing it to your readers, Mike. I love seeing your work.

  2. These are great images Mike, including the selfie.

  3. Richard Grubola says:

    Fabulous. Reminds me of the urban decay in downtown Detroit buildings that you can shoot.

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