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Eastern State Penitentiary Cell Block

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pa.

ESP is a national historic landmark. It was the first penitentiary deriving its name from the concept that the inmates would "repent" and do "penitence" for their crimes. Built in the 1820s it was in operation until the latter part of the 20th century. Originally each prisoner had his own cell complete with heat, water and toilet -- this at a time when the White House did not have indoor plumbing!

Guards patrolled in socks so as not to disturb the prisoner's contemplation. Each prisoner also had to learn a trade so that when released, he would not have to return to his sinful ways.

Only part of the prison is being maintained, the rest is in a state of decay and disrepair. The night before this photograph was taken, it had rained, and the water leaked through the roof.

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Eastern State Penitentiary Cell Block