Eastern State Penitentiary last week unveiled three new art installations and a newly restored cell of former inmate Al Capone.
The gangster was arrested in 1929 for carrying an unlicensed gun as he left a movie theater on Market Street. After a short stint at Holmesburg Prison, he spent seven months of his one-year sentence at Eastern State.
Two newspaper stories from that era disagree on how luxurious the accommodations were for “Scarface” and whether he had a cellmate, embezzler Bill Coleman.
The newly restored cell includes two cots, a toilet, toilet paper, flowers, a lamp, rugs, a cigar in an ashtray, a dresser, wall art, framed pictures, a desk and chair, books, a mirror and a large radio.
The museum is not sure which specific cell Capone was housed in, but he was in the Park Avenue section for high-profile inmates.
Alexander Rosenberg unveiled A Climber’s Guide to Eastern State Penitentiary, or Eastern State’s Architecture and How to Escape It. Rosenberg scaled a 30-foot-high wall.
Dehanza Rogers was on hand to show off her art, #BlackGirlhood, a video about the “school to prison pipeline.”
The other installation, Airplanes, by Benjamin Wills, features paper airplanes sent to the artist by inmates.
Eastern State, 2027 Fairmount Ave., was open from 1829 to 1971
Today, it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For tickets or more information, call 215-236-3300 or visit EasternState.org. ••