Eastern State Penitentiary

Roofing Renovations
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc.

2009 – 2011 Roofing Renovation #1 – Design and Documentation (Completed by S. Harris Ltd.)
2011 – present Roofing Renovation #2 – Design and Documentation


Opened in 1829 as part of a controversial movement to change the behavior of inmates through “confinement in solitude with labor,” the massive stone structure became one of the most expensive and most copied buildings in America. More than 300 prisons worldwide are based on the Penitentiary’s radial or “wagon-wheel” floor plan.


Roofing is a major source of overall failures throughout the site. Re- roofing, either temporary or permanent, has become a primary objective in order to minimize the continual damage inflicted by water infiltration. Since the site was constructed over a 126-year period, roofing details differ throughout the 11-acre site.


Roofing Renovation #1
Cell Blocks 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, Bertillion, and South Corridor

Provided construction documents and compliance conformance for each funding source.

Provided Construction Administration services, including RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) construction compliance controls for the $4.3 million dollar project.

Roofing Renovation #2
Cell Blocks 2, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15

Prepared Construction Documents, provided construction estimates, and currently providing Construction Administration throughout the construction period for the $2.2 million dollar project.

Providing RACP construction compliance assistance.

Points of interest:

Eastern State Penitentiary is a National Historic Landmark.