Eastern State

After visiting Eastern State, I went back and looked at the reading again to think about the type of spot that the site is when thinking about it as a museum. Before having ever been there, I thought it would be a historic site. However, it seemed like more of a museum with the new exhibits that have been worked on and the options for tours that are available.

During the visit, we learned about the different issues that Eastern State has faced while renovating the old prison. The prison seems to have been transformed so that it is a new age museum. It reminded me about how House museums will go through different renovation to show what they once were like. The difference with Eastern State was that they wanted to keep the building in some of the conditions it was in to give off the feel of an old prison. The renovations Eastern State has been apart of seem to deal with the social issues that occurred when the prison was up and running and that are still taking place today. By having people come to what they know of as the “Haunted House thing”, you can help educate the public on issues that are going on in society with the criminal justice system. House museums seem to try to also relate what has happened with their structure to issues today, but Eastern State has the luxury of being able to show so many more people.

Something else I connected to the reading was how the Dennis Sever house was self guided. If a person wanted, they would not have to go on a big tour at Eastern State and could just use the audio sets to guide them. I thought it was interesting since when talking to the guides, it seemed like you could get two totally different experiences depending on which tour you take. It has me interested in doing both just to see what it is like.

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