A model of prison architecture which has been replicated in modern prisons and schools throughout the world, Eastern State Penitentiary was built as the first prison to induce reformation upon its inmates. While kept in solitary confinement inside of generously proportioned cells with barrel vaulted ceilings lit by skylights, inmates were thought to see the light of God and be penitent of their crimes. Today, the interior of the structure is kept in ruin without funding to restore a major cell-block to its former prestige. The cells of the prison today have become dilapidated since the prison closed in 1970 and do not resemble the design of 1829. This project will utilize the immersive qualities of real-time computer graphics to preserve the heritage of Eastern State Penitentiary and provide an interactive lens through which to view the memories of the past.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Eastern State Penitentiary of Pennsylvania--Interactive multimedia--Design; Prisons--Design and construction--Digitization

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Adam Smith

Advisor/Committee Member

Mike Strobert


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes