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Press Releases

Press Releases

  • Long-Abandoned Medical Wing Opens to the Public

    Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site kicks off its 2017 season on Friday, May 5 with the first-ever public tours of Cellblock 3, also called the Hospital Block. Visitors have long wished to explore this space, but its severe deterioration has made touring the hospital impossible – until now.

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  • Programming Overview 2017

    Eastern State Penitentiary is open for tours every day, 12 months a year. All daytime programming (“The Voices of Eastern State” Audio Tour, Hands-On History, artist installations, and exhibits) is included in one admission price.


    Hours and Information:

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  • Special Event Highlights 2017

    Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site hosts many special events throughout the year. 2017 highlights are outlined below. For a full schedule, visit

    The Searchlight Series
    First Tuesday of Every Month, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


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  • Artist Installations 2017

    Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site will host three new and 11 returning artist installations in 2017. The projects were chosen for their ability to address Eastern State’s primary themes—including perspectives on the contemporary American criminal justice system and the penitentiary’s fascinating past—with a memorable, thought-provoking approach.

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  • By the Numbers 2017

    Opened:    1829

    Closed:     1971

    Years of Active Use:     142

    Architect:     John Haviland (1792-1852)

    Initial Expense:     $770,000  (believed to be second only to the U.S. Capitol in expense of an American building to date)

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  • Criminal Justice Policy and the New Administration

    As the United States transitions into a new presidential administration, we continue to urge policymakers to study recent criminal justice successes when developing federal policy.

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