Philadelphia Focus

Thursdays 12:30 Mondays 10:30AM

Sean Kelley- Senior Vice President, Director of Interpretation of Eastern State Penitentiary Download

Download June 27th, 2018

Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President and Director of Interpretation at Eastern State Penitentiary, discussed the historic site in Center City Philadelphia.   He described its building in 1829 as part of our founding fathers’ ideas on prison reform, substituting reflection and contemplation in solitude for the then standard of whipping or stocks and placing men, women and children together in a common cell.   He spoke on how its wheel-spoke structure kept prisoner in total solitude, with no contact from even the guards.   It drew visitors and observers from all over the world as a model prison, even the Marquis de Lafayette and Charles Dickens decried the horror of its solitary confinement.   He discussed how it became a traditional prison in the 1920s and described some of the inmates and some of the features of the building, including a hospital and workshops, as well as its over-crowding and escapes and riots.   The prison was abandoned in 1971, and Kelley spoke about its rescue by preservationists and historians, and the decision to open it before renovating it.  Today many cells, including Al Capone’s, the chapel, the synagogue  and parts of the hospital are restored.  Kelley described an important part of it new mission, interpreting incarceration and instigating conversation about prisons, punishment, race and criminal justice.  To start that dialogue ESP now presents installations and exhibits,  including its award-winning exhibit, Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, and rotating art installations on the prison experience by over 100 artists from across the country.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Podcasts you may like

Marc Berstein’s Founders’ Forum

Great business stories, great people.  Business leaders share their American success stories, what they’ve learned and what’s happening next.  

0 episodes

The Scott Dorsey Show

Good People doing Good Things. The Scott Dorsey show is about people  and organizations who are doing great things in the greater Philadelphia and Suburban  Area. The Scott Dorsey will help bring light to the many good deeds that are being done by every day citizens of our community. Scott  as a former Pastor, Social […]

Play Latest (March 20th)

3 episodes

Morning Light

Positive and encouraging faith-based, spiritual, upbeat, family-friendly music. Non-denominational, inspiring and encouraging music for everyone, the whole family, as you make your way to school or to work, or listen at home. Plus, light hearted faith-filled banter that is good and positive, and local news/events that blesses our community. When everyone in the car likes […]

Play Latest (March 24th)

14 episodes

The Allegheny West Show

The Allegheny West Show, hosted by Philadelphia radio veteran Thera Martin, brings you information about small businesses, opportunities for families and individuals for services from city agencies. We’ll talk about voter registration and education, and encourage people to do their civic duty. Health care will often be on the agenda and we’ll help listeners understand […]

Play Latest (March 22nd)

8 episodes