Opened in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was considered one of the first American prisons, and the one that other prisons modeled after. Considered state of the art during its time, as it did have running water, and was able to control room temperature. The prison closed in 1971, and later became an historical landmark and a museum.
Located in the Fairmount area, it is off the beaten path, being out of the way from all of the other attractions. Not too far from the Ben Franklin Parkway, but you may have to do some walking to get there. Not sure how to get there by public transportation, as I walked to there from the Franklin Institute, which took me about 30 minutes.
The prison itself, is very rundown, and has not been well-maintained over the years. But that also adds to the creepiness of the place, more so than Alcatraz (in San Francisco). There are artifacts, along with the jail cells, including the one that Capone stayed at.
Admission comes with an audioguide, which is informative enough to keep you interested. Keep in mind, there are no restrooms, just a few port-a-potties. Needless to say, those things can get very nasty.
Eastern State is worth checking out, if you have the time to see it. The only issue is getting to and from the place, into an area that does not look so good.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.