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Location DB > United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Pennsylvania Hospital
Pennsylvania Hospital
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 Database Info
created by PAexplorations on 4/14/2006 12:45 PM
last modified by PAexplorations on 4/14/2006 1:28 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
Founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr Thomas Bond, known as the Nations first hospital.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Active
Accessibility: can walk around and they give tours
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Owner: University Of Pennsylvania Health System
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  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    The first floor of the center building features the Great Court, an antique fire pump, a Thomas Sully portrait of former Board president Samuel Coates, and the President's office. Inside the office one can see a chair owned by William Penn, a grandfather clock built by the noted astronomer-scientist David Rittenhouse, and a Thomas Eakins portrait of Dr. Jacob DaCosta.

    The second floor of the center building houses a historic library whose beauty will make any bibliophile's heart beat faster. Upon stepping inside one feels transported into a rarefied atmosphere (the room is climate controlled) and into another era. First one's eyes fall upon the darkly patinaed bookcases enclosed with hand-blown glass panes which accent the over 13,000 medical tomes and herbal and horticultural volumes contained within. The collection includes many outstanding works in anatomy, surgery, internal medicine, national history, science, and botany.
    Follow the large double staircase up to the Surgical Amphitheatre. Here, under a skylight, surrounded by rows of medical students above, surgical procedures were performed from 1804 to 1868. This period was prior to the antisepsis movement, and the hospital surgeons limited their procedures to amputations, extractions (tumor, stone, and cataract), and the repair of aneurysms and hernias. Hospital cofounder Dr. Thomas Bond performed the first lithotomy (stone extraction) in the 13 Colonies at the hospital on November 29, 1756.To the left of the Amphitheatre, in the West Wing, is the Museum of Nursing History. Nursing uniforms, pins, caps, and other memorabilia are on display.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  • cameras
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1751
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment
    Dr. Benjamin Rush, on staff from 1783 until 1813, is a medical teacher, social reformer, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and will come to be known as the "father of American psychiatry." As the hospital's reputation for the humane treatment of the mentally ill grows, overcrowding is a recurrent problem.1841
    By the early 1800s, insane patients at Pennsylvania Hospital outnumber those with a physical diagnosis by two to one. A large farm at what is now 44th and Market Streets is purchased by the hospital and is called the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. It later (1959) becomes known as The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital.

    Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride becomes the Superintendent of the new Department for the Insane and moves to the new grounds with his family. He spends the rest of his life devoted to the creation of a new, more humane world for the mentally disabled.Initially, the basement was used to house the insane (Pennsylvania Hospital being a pioneer in the humane treatment of the mentally ill). The first floor of the Pine Building was the men's ward; the second floor the women's ward; the third floor was reserved for servants and for isolation cases of both sexes.

     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Today, the 534-bed acute care facility offers a full-range of diagnostic and therapeutic medical services and is a major teaching and clinical research institution. The hospital has over 25,000 admissions each year, including over 4,200 births. Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and is located in the historic Society Hill district of Philadelphia.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Last Years Visit
    Fri, Apr 14th, 2006
    posted by PAexplorations
    19 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Opheliaism on 7/27/2008 7:28 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jul 27 08 at 7:28, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Apr 14 06 at 13:36, PAexplorations updated gallery picture PAHOSP3.jpg
  • on Apr 14 06 at 13:35, PAexplorations updated gallery picture f2c5.jpg
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