Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Eastern State Penitentiary

penitentiary, philadelphia
Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was previously the most renowned and costly prison on earth.  This was the world's first prison. Its grand architecture with vaulted, sky-lit cells, today lays in ruins.  "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone were once detained in these walls.  "Scarface" Capone, Chicago's famous bootlegger was in prison for the first time in 1929. While passing through Philadelphia heading home, he was arrested for caring a concealed, unlicensed .38 revolver.  He received a one year sentence.  Capone served 8 months of his sentence before being released.  The officials were generous to Capone, allowing him comforts other inmates weren't granted.  His cell was decked out with rugs, lamps, fine furniture, paintings, and a radio.  He was known for listening to waltz music.  In 1930 Al Capone was released from the Eastern State Penitentiary and became an international celebrity.  Many, wanting a glimpse of the famous bootlegger, gathered along with movie cameras outside the Penitentiary walls.
eastern state penitentiary, philladelphia, al copone, bootlegger,al copone's cell
"Scarface" Al Capone's Cell

Allegedly, in 1924, Pennsylvania Govenor sentenced The Cat Murdering Dog, Pep to life in prison at the Easter State Penitentiary for murdering his wife's cat.  Prison documents show the dog was issued an inmate number (No. C-2559).
inmate, philadephia, eastern state penitentiary,dog
Pep, the cat-murdering dog.

Michael, Delia, Stone and I walked through the numerous cell blocks.  Among those, you would have The Hole or what they called "Klondike".  It was a windowless cell where prisoners where sent who broke the rules.  There was even a Synagogue used by Jewish inmates. Never more than 80 Jews were at the Penitentiary at any one time.  There were ruins of Death Row, the Barbershop, the Kitchens, Hospital and many more.  Interesting fact, did you know the Penitentiary had flushable toilets before the White House?   You roam through these cellblocks and wonder how you would survive being locked up in a place like this and glad you will never know the answer to this question.  This penitentiary was built to instill true remorse, or penitence in the soul of the convicts.  Did it?
cell block, eastern state penitentiary, philadelphia

cell, eastern state penitentiary, prision
Inside of a cell.

Inside of a cell.

Door to the cell.

eastern state penitentiary, cell block
One of the many cell blocks.

philadelphia, eastern state penitentiary, synagogue
The Synagogue

We left through these doors of the castly style fortress into the bright sunshine away from the eerie, mysterous, somewhat spooky ruins of the past.  If you like history as we do, you would enjoy the visit into the past at the Eastern State Penitentiary.
Into the bright sunshine.

Hungry after being in prision for a couple hours, we were paroled and made our way over to Jake's Firehouse http://www.jacksfirehouse.com for some lunch.  Jake's is set in a 19th centry firehouse, where we sat at the outdoor seating next to an urban waterfall.  In the bright sunlight of the early afternoon we ordered lunch and reflected on our morning at the Penitentiary that was located directly across the street.  I guess they could tell we were starving, having been just released from prision.  They brought out this huge plate of different breads, served with this delicious sour cherry compote.  We nibbled on our bread while wating for our meal.  After a short time, our food was served. All was delicious and just what we needed to continue our day.
jack's firehouse, bread, cornbread, biscuits, cherry compote, philadelphia
A variety of different, delicious breads served with cherry compote.

jack's firehouse, philadelphia, new england clam chowder
Stone's New England Clam Chowder

jack's firehouse, corn chips, pulled pork, philadelphia
Delia's Pulled Pork On Corn Chips

jack's firehouse, philadelphia, french fry's, ketchup, hamburger
Michael's 10 oz. Cheeseburger

jack's firehouse, apple, salad, spiced pecans, blue cheese, cider vinaigrette, philadelphia
My Apple Salad With Spiced Pecans, Blue Cheese and Cider Vinaigrette