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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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Health & Safety

The health and safety of our staff and visitors remains our top priority. Learn more about what you can expect during your visit.

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Nov 25 - Dec 21

Holiday Toy Drive

Donate a toy or children's book in exchange for "Buy One, Get One Free" daytime tour admission to Eastern State Penitentiary. Toys will be distributed to local families who have been impacted by incarceration.

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Keep History Alive Here

Your year-end gift will help us expand our education team, broaden our Preservation Trades Center, grow our artist installation program, and continue to foster dialogue about criminal justice reform.

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December 21, 2022, 10:00 am – January 4, 2023, 5:00 pm

Pop-Up Museum | Segregated Cellblocks: Race and Change at Eastern State

Included with admission. For a limited time only, a selection of artifacts from the penitentiary's archives will be on display exploring the theme of race and segregation at Eastern State. Learn more

What We're Reading

"People in Detroit jails say the cost of phone calls is prohibitive" by Beenish Ahmed of NPR. Dec. 6, 2022.

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Pic of the Week

Share your best Eastern State photos on Instagram for a chance to be featured. Be sure to tag us @easternstate! This week's photo by @soulenchantearthstar.

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner