Obscura Day 2015: Exploring Eastern State Penitentiary - Atlas Obscura
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Obscura Day 2015: Exploring Eastern State Penitentiary

Spend Obscura Day behind bars at one of America's most notorious prisons...

For nearly two hundred years, the Eastern State Penitentiary has provided a steel-cladded home to history’s most infamous criminals. On Obscura Day, Eastern State will put you behind bars. 

Join us as we are granted a tour of areas of Eastern State ordinarily off limits to the public, including Eastern State's private archives. We will be greeted by Eastern State's archivist Erica Harman, who will take us on a journey through the prison's history using items, photographs, and artwork found on site over the years.

Built in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was unique in its attempt to reform criminals, rather than punish, serving as a model that inspired over 300 penitentiaries worldwide. By the time it was shut down in 1971, it left behind a checkered legacy with claims that the institution produced more madness than reformed citizens.


Saturday, May 30th at 10 AM

Cost: $20

Eastern State Penitentiary 

2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Please meet at the main entrance of the Eastern State Penitentiary promptly at 10 am.