Burlington County marks completion of restorations at historic prison museum

Special to The Sun
The Burlington County Historic Prison formerly housed criminals from 1811 to 1965 but is now a museum dedicated to the prison’s past and what life was like within its walls.

Burlington County’s expansive and diverse history was celebrated on May 15 during a ceremony marking the completion of a major restoration project at the Burlington County Historic Prison Museum.

Located on High and Grant streets in Mount Holly, the stone and brick building housed criminals from 1811 to 1965 but is now a museum dedicated to the prison’s storied past and what life was like within its walls.

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Among the recently completed renovations, the prison’s cedar roof was replaced, and much of its exterior and interior masonry was repaired and cleaned. Experts also preserved several sections of graffiti art and messages left by prisoners on the plaster cell walls.

The $2.9 million restoration project was completed with support from the New Jersey Historic Trust, which awarded the County a $526,500 grant to assist with improvements.

The building renovations were designed by Netta Architects, which also oversaw the construction and preservation work. John O’Hara Company served as the general contractor on the project, Watts Restoration performed the masonry work and contractors from Fania Roofing completed the roof replacement. 

Experts from Jablonski Building Conservation performed the graffiti stabilization work.

The Historic Prison Museum is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Groups of six or fewer people can also make arrangements for private tours on days the museum is closed. Audio tours and an escape game package are also available. For more information call (609) 265-5476 or (609) 265-5858. Information is also available online at https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/956/Prison-Museum.

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