91 Years of Prison History at Lorton

The Lucy Burns Museum is now Open Friday noon to 5PM, Saturday 11AM to 5PM and Sunday noon to 5PM.

*Due to new COVID variants, the Lucy Burns Museum has reinstated its mask wearing policy. Effective immediately, all visitors, docents and staff will be required to wear a face covering while in the Lucy Burns Museum.

The Lucy Burns Museum is featured on the Alliance of American Museums website blog. Click here to read the story.

In 2018, the Workhouse Arts Center completed renovation of a 10,000 square foot barracks building on campus to house the Lucy Burns Museum.  The museum is open and in an installation of professional history exhibits telling the story of the 91 years of prison history and the story of the suffragists who were imprisoned here in 1917 for picketing the White House for women’s right to vote.

The Lucy Burns Museum engages visitors in an exploration of the history of the Lorton Correctional facilities that operated for a total of 91 years from 1910-2001.  From the prison’s founding by President Theodore Roosevelt during the progressive reform era to the current site adaptive reuse project, re-purposing of the property to support an innovative and growing arts center, the museum explores a vast history including an incredible cast of characters of notorious criminals, some of the biggest jazz artists of the 21st century, and activist and suffragists. 

As a site on the National Historic Registry, the Workhouse legacy is rich with stories of our American heritage.  Suffragists picketing the White House for women’s right to vote were imprisoned and force-fed.  Civil rights activists Noam Chomsky and Norman Mailer were imprisoned after peaceful demonstrations in Washington, DC.  Notorious criminals were held at the Workhouse like Watergate mastermind G. Gordon Liddy along with local celebrities like Chuck Brown and Petey Greene.  Some of our nation’s most remarkable performers like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington performed on the site.  These stories have been quietly archived and known locally.  The Lucy Burns Museum allows those stories and many more to be told across the nation.

The Workhouse Arts Center and the Lucy Burns Museum survive because of monetary contributions given to us by our generous community.  Tax-deductible donations can be made by check or online.  The Lucy Burns Museum is currently a docent/volunteer-led resource for the community and the general public.  If you are interested in supporting the Lucy Burns Museum or the Workhouse, please see information below about donating or volunteering.


Entry to the Lucy Burns Museum is free.

We offer tours of the cell area at the following rates:


0-12 years: Free
Over 12 years old: $5.00


Youth groups – Free

Group Tours with a Docent – $10 per person (Includes Cell Area Access)

For questions, please email

Group Tour Sign Up


Located in Lorton, Virginia, on 55 acres once occupied by the historic Lorton Workhouse prison, the Workhouse Arts Center is a vibrant community of visual artists, performing artists, and arts educators working together to serve more than 100,000 visitors annually from communities throughout Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, and throughout the nation. Nearly 100 regional artists create or exhibit their art at the Workhouse, and the Workhouse annually hosts more than 100 arts exhibitions, 300 performances, and 800 arts education classes, in addition to exciting events like Workhouse Fireworks, Second Saturdays, Haunted Trail, and Brewfest. More information about the Workhouse is available online at

To find out about volunteer and Docent opportunities email the Lucy Burns Museum Director, Rebecca Super

About Time: The FBI at Lorton Prison

An article in The Society for History in the Federal Government newsletter, The Federalist, by writer, educator and activist Karin McKie.

“The Wall, The Hill, The Hole, and The Quack were nicknames for incarceration zones in the DC Correctional Facility at Lorton, a now-repurposed microcosm of 20th century American social, political and carceral history.”

Click below to read the article!

Centennial Women’s Equality Day 2020 – August 26, 2020

Mt. Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck hosted this event from the Lucy Burns Museum to honor Centennial Women’s Equality Day 2020.

Lucy Burns Museum Virtual Tour

Feel Good Friday: Suffrage at The Workhouse Arts Center (Lucy Burns Museum)

Suffragist Story - Mary Nolan

Suffragist Story - Rose Winslow

Suffragist Story - Inez Milholland

Suffragist Story - Dorothy Day

We Demand Coloring Book

The Library of Virginia’s current exhibition, We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote. View the exhibit here. 

As part of this exhibit they have created a Suffrage Coloring Book! Download it here. Color your favorite pages and then share photos of them with us on social media! Use the hashtags #LucyBurnsMuseum #SuffrageColoringBook #ColorOurCollections and tag @LibraryofVA and @WorkhouseArts.

Thank you to the Library of Virginia for creating this fun activity to learn about the Suffragist Movement!

Lucy Burns Museum VIP Opening

Stories Behind the Prison Wall

Women's History: Lucy Burns Museum Opens at the Workhouse


Donate to the Lucy Burns Museum
Contact our Development Department at 703-584-2986 or click the button to make an online donation.

To find out about volunteer and Docent opportunities email the Lucy Burns Museum Director, Rebecca Super


Hours and Directions

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