Philadelphia Road Trip!

On December 20, 2010, in Pennsylvania, by admin

Cell 352, Cell Block 9, Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia PA

Two weeks ago two friends from the Northern Virginia Photographic Society invited me on a day trip to Philadelphia.  Our primary destination was the Eastern State Penitentiary.  This prison, located in the heart of Philadelphia, was closed in 1971.  Since then it has essentially been open to the elements.

Because the prison is open to the elements, most of it was closed off for the winter.  Only a single cell block is open to photographers until 15 March 2011.  At that time much more of the prison will be available for photography.  The one cell block we were allowed into offered lots of photographic opportunities.  The flaking paint and general run down nature of the cells makes for some interesting patterns.

The image above shows the top of one of the cell doors.  Back in the day each cell had a steel cage door and another wooden door that slid on rollers.  I found the door to Cell 352 to be a particularly interesting subject.  The various shades of peeling paint and the repeating patterns of the rollers and their mountings captured my attention.

Of particular interest, besides Al Capone’s cell, are two mirrors that allow the photographer to set up some interesting shots down the length of one hall.  I have to clean up those pictures and will post them later.

If you do go visit Eastern Pen, there is a great pizza place about three blocks away.  As you look at the entrance to the prison, go left two blocks to the corner of 24th and Fairmont to Luigi’s Pizza.  Six bucks gets you two LARGE slices of pizza and a soft drink.  Great chow at a bargain price!

Our other destination was the Philadelphia Graffitti Underground.  We only had about 30 minutes of daylight when we got there.  Those pictures will be in the next post!