The Acme supermarket occupying the space between Passyunk, Reed, 10th & 11th Streets, is certainly a neighborhood institution. But for nearly a century-and-a-half, this plot was occupied by an actual institution; the Moyamensing Prison.
Back in the day
According to the marker dedicated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission just last year, the prison was constructed in 1835 (shown above in an 1838 rendering, courtesy of Wikipedia) under the design of Thomas U. Walter. Walter’s far more famous architectural accomplishments include his oversight of the U.S. Capitol Dome and his participation in designing our own City Hall before his death in 1887.
Though Walter would not live to enjoy Acme’s quality produce and everyday low prices, he would witness a good portion of the location’s colorful history. According to a photo collection by Raymond Biswanger, housed in…