The 10 Most Interesting Abandoned Prisons of America

Photo by Gary Whitton at Shutterstock

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

Time of Operation: 1829 to 1971
When first built, the building was the biggest and most expensive public structure ever erected in the US and quickly became a model for more than 300 prisons worldwide. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or genuine regret, in the hearts of convicts.

Isolation was a common practice here. Many parts of the penitentiary remain the same. The prison’s old barber chair is still pinned to the floor of the barbershop. Worth mentioning is that Al Capone’s cell is one of the most fascinating spots in this prison.

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