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Connect and Learn | Closure Updates

The health of our visitors and staff is our highest priority. Due to ongoing public health concerns and in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 restrictions, Eastern State Penitentiary is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. All virtual events will continue as planned unless otherwise specified. Additional updates will be shared on this page and our social media platforms.

Visitors who have pre-purchased tickets for either a daytime tour or Night Tours can contact [email protected] for assistance. You may either request a full or partial refund or convert your purchase into a fully tax-deductible donation to help support our efforts to preserve and interpret this important historic site.

Want to connect with us in the meantime? The conversation about the legacy of American criminal justice reform continues online!

FREE Virtual Programs – Join us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about Eastern State’s history and discuss the prison system today, all from home.

Book a Virtual Group Tour –These live, interactive, discussion-based experiences provide opportunities to reflect on Eastern State’s original grand objectives, its change over time, and the racial, economic, and geographic impacts of mass incarceration. Learn more!


Here’s what’s happening online through December 6:

Wednesday, November 25

12:00 pm ET - Hidden Histories: Temperance and Sobriety
Live chat on Twitter.
Our researchers dig into the history of under-explored populations and topics at Eastern State Penitentiary. Tune in this week as Damon McCool leads a conversation about temperance and sobriety at Eastern State and in prisons today. Join the conversation with #HiddenESP.

Friday, November 27

Prisons and the Pandemic
Pre-recorded video on Facebook.
Public Programming Specialist Damon McCool shares the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic inside of prisons and jails throughout the United States. Listen and engage in discussion with others in the comments.

Tuesday, December 1

6:00 pm ET - Walkies: A Conversation with Shuja Moore and Sydia Bagley 
Live-streamed on Facebook and via Zoom webinar.
Join us for a discussion with Shuja Moore, creator and executive producer of the docuseries “Walkies” alongside Sydia Bagley, founder and CEO of Locked Down Love, a community-based program aiding returning citizens. We’ll discuss the creation and production of “Walkies” and view clips from past and upcoming episodes. Learn More >

Friday, December 4

Prisons and the Pandemic
Pre-recorded video on Facebook.
Public Programming Specialist Damon McCool shares the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic inside of prisons and jails throughout the United States. Listen and engage in discussion with others in the comments.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner