Eastern_State_Penitentiary_aerial_cropEastern State Penitentiary, commonly referred to as ESP, was a prison in Pennsylvania that opened in 1829 and held some of the most wanted men in America, like Al Capone. The prison was built in a radial style; this style has had great influence on prison architecture throughout the world, and is widely copied.

The prison was used for 142 years, but retired in 1971. The prison is now a tourist attraction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The City of Philadelphia bought the building from the state in 1980. The cost of the prison was more than $400,000. They bought it in order to repurpose it and make more money for the city. They began to preserve the prison in 1991 with donations from the Pew Charitable Trusts and began the tradition of their Halloween attraction, Terror Behind the Walls, which is famous nationwide for its success.

In 1996, the World Monument Fund ranked the penitentiary on its top hundred most important endangered landmarks. The prison now features attractions such as tours narrated by Steve Buscemi, an exhibit called Towercam!, and artistic installations within different cellblocks.


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