The penitentiary was built in Philadelphia, PA, between 1822 and 1829, reflecting newest reformatory principles of its time. The main principle was to isolate the prisoners from each other and the outside world. Access to each cell was from a small courtyard adjacent to cell that was separated by walls from the neighboring unit. The overall layout consisted of a control room in the center from which linear buildings proceed in all directions. Prisoners were not allowed to work or to meet visitors – aside from the prison pastor. The prison was closed in 1971.