Senator Carlucci Announces State Funds for Sing Sing Prison Museum

David Carlucci

September 08, 2015

Senator David Carlucci (D – Rockland/Westchester), was joined by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Historic Hudson River Towns, Sing Sing Prison Superintendent Michael Capra, and numerous officials to announce state funding for the Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum.

For years, there has been a movement within the Ossining community for the development and construction of a Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum, with the primary artifact being the original 1825 Cellblock. The interpretive focus of the museum will be the history of prisons in the United States, the creation and development of the penitentiary and associated reform movements in America, as seen through the lens of Sing Sing Prison.  Interwoven with the narrative of penal theory and the practice of surrounding social and political contexts, will be stories of individual inmates, keepers, reformers and critics. 

The $100,000 secured in this year’s New York State budget by Senator Carlucci will go towards hiring a historic preservation architect to prepare a historic assessment of the 1825 cell block and the 1936 Power House to develop a set of plans and specifications for their preservation.

Historic Hudson River Towns has secured the services of world renowned historian Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institute to assist with developing the Request for Proposals, feasibility study, as well as reviewing the governance documents and creating the plan for preserving the historic buildings on site to be used for the Museum.

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef has also secured $1 million in Dormitory Authority funds, which will be used for the construction of the museum, using the preservation techniques as recommended. Historic Hudson River Towns, a registered 501 (c)(3) has hosted fundraisers and collected private donations for the museum.

“I am happy to partner with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Historic Hudson River Towns to bring the vision of a Sing Sing Historical Museum Prison Museum to life,” said Senator David Carlucci. The money secured in this year’s budget will enable Historic Hudson River Towns to hire the experts needed to create a professional plan, and start preserving the existing structure. By building a museum that will garner national attention, we will be preserving Ossining’s past, while allowing economic development and tourism to expand its future.”

“I am so pleased that my colleague, Senator David Carlucci has secured funding for planning the Sing Sing Museum in Ossining,” said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. “This will allow us to put together the most up-to-date information relating to costs and economic impact on the region. I believe this is a transformative project that could have major benefits to our area for decades to come. Sing Sing’s story needs to be told and that includes all of the history of the penal system and how Sing Sing has impacted our culture since 1825 when it was first built here on the banks of the beautiful Hudson River.  There are so many stories and incalculable value in the historic remains of the original cell block as well as the old Power House that is slated to house the museum.  Historic Hudson River Towns has taken the lead on this project for the obvious reason that tourism generated from the museum will positively impact all of the towns nearby. The funding from Senator Carlucci in addition to the dollars allocated to the museum through the Mid Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, plus money I have secured through capital funds available through the Assembly will give the project the jump start it needs to focus on preservation, planning, job creation, and bringing the community on board so that all stakeholders have a say in its creation.”

"On behalf of the Historic Hudson River Town's Executive Board and membership, we are extremely pleased with Senator Carlucci's demonstrated support for the Sing Sing Prison Museum program and his ability to secure funding to assist with the historic preservation of the 1825 Cell Block and the 1936 Power House where the museum will be housed,” said Gerry Faiella of Historic Hudson River Towns. “We believe the Museum will be a major visitor destination in the Hudson Valley and have a positive economic impact on the region."

"The identity of the Village of Ossining is intrinsically linked to Sing Sing Prison.” Said Village of Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity. “I am excited for the opportunities that come with the opening of what will be a world class museum. Visitors from nearby and across the country will be welcomed by the Ossining community."