Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Eastern State Penitentiary
The Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829. Sometimes called the Cherry Hill Penitentiary, it was erected in what was once a cherry orchard. Cherry Hill was designed from the beginning to enable those in solitary confinement to work. Care was taken so that its architectural design would follow the premises of the Pennsylvania system. Its first seven cellblocks were built to radiate from a central rotunda where guards could keep surveillance on prisoners who were housed in their own cells, each with central heat, running water, a toilet, and a skylight. Next to each cell was an outdoor exercise yard surrounded by a wall. Samuel Wood, a Quaker and member of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, served as Cherry Hill's first warden. Several of the wardens who followed Wood were also members of the Philadelphia Society. Cherry Hill became famous as the chief exponent of ...