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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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Connect and Learn

The conversation about the legacy of American criminal justice reform continues virtually! View the schedule and tune in on social media for this week's programming.

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Reopening August 14

Health and safety is our top priority. Here’s what you can expect during your visit.

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Make a Gift

Your support today means we can continue our work – both online and as our site reopens.

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August 15, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Member Saturday: Neighborhood Connections | Eastern State and Girard College

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What We're Reading this Week

A Texas court has launched what the state says is the nation’s first virtual jury trial in a criminal case, Associated Press, August 11, 2020

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Phase 1 Construction

This initial phase of construction will include upgrades to electricity and plumbing infrastructure and will lay the groundwork for the eventual construction of a visitor center. 

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner