Eastern Penitentiary Escape Tunnel, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue
On April 3, 1945 twelve prisoners engineered an infamous escape from Eastern State Penitentiary by means of a tunnel that began in a cell at the end of Cell Block 67 and exited outside the penitentiary wall near the corner of 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue. In anticipation of the 60th anniversary of the escape, archaeologists were brought in to re-discover the location and alignment of this tunnel, and to determine whether or not any portion of the passageway remained preserved beneath the site. This task was accomplished using a combination of standard archaeological excavation techniques and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology. Once located, remote cameras were used to enter one intact section of the tunnel and to view first hand the escape passage crafted by the inmates. A video was made of all portions of the investigation and will be used in interpretation by Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.
The tunnel entrance within the cell.
The tunnel exit just outside Eastern Penitentiary's fortress-like walls.
Using ground penetrating radar to re-locate the tunnel within the prison.