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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.

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Justice 101

Our Justice 101 series — from the Center for Justice Education at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site — invites learners of all ages to examine the history of the justice system in America from its founding to today and the impact it has on our society, citizens, and 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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May 24, 2024, 10:00 am – May 27, 2024, 5:00 pm

Memorial Day Weekend 2024

Join us May 24-27 as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of public tours at ESPHS and reflect on the importance of military service during Eastern State’s operational years. Learn more

Collaboratory for Justice Education

The Collaboratory for Justice Education at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is a dynamic community of dedicated and enthusiastic people with a shared passion for justice education committed to generating innovative solutions for understanding intricate societal issues.

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Help Us Redefine Justice in America

Eastern State has entered a bold new era, and one of the pillars of our future is to become the national leader in criminal justice education. Together, we can learn and foster meaningful action and productive change – in our communities, our society, and in ourselves.

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner