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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 held nearly 85,000 people over its long history, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and "Scarface" Al Capone.

Explore the online tour

March 18, 11 am ET

Women Behind Bars

Join us for a virtual program shedding light on the concerning rise of female imprisonment in the U.S. Part of Justice 101 — a series examining the history of the justice system in America & its impact on our society, citizens, & world.

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Plan Your Visit

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is currently open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are closed on Tuesdays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

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Revisit the past. Rethink the future.

Become a Member

Members support the work we do every day and receive exclusive benefits like free daytime admission, invitations to members-only experiences, special discounts, and more!

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March 24, 2024, 11:00 am – 2:15 pm

Virtual Scout Day: Architecture

$15. Online via Zoom. BSA scouts, GSUSA scouts, and all youth — join us to learn about Eastern State's history, the penitentiary's unique design, the ethics of prison architecture, and careers in architecture and historic preservation. Learn more

Pic of the Week

This week's featured photo was taken by @elenaevgrafieva. Share your best Eastern State photos on Instagram and tag us @easternstatepen for a chance to be featured!

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Make a Gift

Eastern State Penitentiary is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Help us preserve this National Historic Landmark and promote our mission to interpret the legacy of criminal justice reform in America through a diverse slate of programming and initiatives.

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner