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America's Most Historic Prison

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious lawbreakers, including "Slick Willie" Sutton and "Scarface" Al Capone.

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Connect and Learn

The conversation about the legacy of American criminal justice reform continues virtually! View the schedule and tune in on social media for this week's programming.

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Closure Updates

Due to ongoing public health concerns related to the novel coronavirus, Eastern State Penitentiary will remain temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

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Your support today means we can continue our work – virtually for now and in person again when our site reopens.

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July 18, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Member Saturday: Draw Your Own Conclusions | 1920s Cartoons of Eastern State

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What We're Reading this Week

Hours after a 5-to-4 vote by the Supreme Court, Daniel Lewis Lee was put to death by lethal injection, the first federal execution in 17 years, The New York Times, July 14, 2020

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Phase 1 Construction

This initial phase of construction will include upgrades to electricity and plumbing infrastructure and will lay the groundwork for the eventual construction of a visitor center. 

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner