3. Eldridge Street Was Once Home to a Jail, 22 Eldridge Street

Originally built as a private row house, 22 Eldridge Street was later converted to a jail in 1836 after serving as a city watch house. The Eldridge Jail was a Debtors prison and notorious for deplorable conditions. According to an 1846 report from the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the prison was known as a “place of suffering and a standing monument of public injustice.”

In 1854, a reformer advocated for the installation of a lending library. Despite these efforts, the jail continued to be a corrupt, unsanitary place, with multiple offenders escaping from the jail due to a low fence.