Bullock applauds $1.5 million in grants awarded to Phila. Zoo, Eastern State Penitentiary

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Donna Bullock is applauding $1.5 million in state grants recently awarded to the Philadelphia Zoo and Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site for their upcoming construction projects.

The Zoo received $1 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to help construct a new larger, more energy efficient Food Services Hub and restaurant. The money will be used to cover construction costs including building demolition, fire protection and security systems, and utility relocation.                                                    

The Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site received a $500,000 RACP grant to expand audio tour capabilities by updating four rooms in the Admin Building to support lines, ticketing, and audio tour distribution. It will also go towards:

  • Adding a glass atrium and roof to the existing garden in the Visiting Center;

  • New water/sewer lines;

  • New electric distribution; and

  • An underground storm retention basin.

“Both the Zoo and Eastern State Penitentiary are area landmarks that not only gives us a place to connect with family and friends, but attracts people from across the country right to our neighborhoods,” Bullock, D-Phila., said. “This funding is essential to ensure these tourist attractions continue to succeed, strengthen our local economy, and shine a positive light on our community.” 

RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.


CONTACT: Chris Caracino

House Democratic Communications Office
Phone: 717-787-6028