Eastern State Penitentiary Org
Wikipedia's article on ESP
ESP was in operation from 1829 to 1971. When you walk through the corridors and look in the cells, it's hard to believe that it was open in 1971.|
The radial system of corridors was used in over 300 prisons worldwide.
In ESP, at least in the oldest parts, each cell had two doors. One opened onto the corridor. The other opened onto an individual exercise yard.
The exercise yard had high walls but no roof or ceiling. In some of the photos, you can see the door that led out to the exercise yard.
The original conception was that an inmate would realize the error of his ways if he was housed in a cell by himself and allowed to think about what he had done.
It was a very optimistic view of human nature - that they would reform themselves.
Apparently, there was the pressure of prison population and the realization that self-reformation did not happen very often (if at all).
Because in some of the photos of cells, you will see bunk bed frames.
Also, the newer sections of the prison did not have the door to an exercise yard, and the existing exercise yard doors were blocked up.
Some of the towers
Left: A door in Corridor 1; Right: an arched corridor.