Saturday, March 31, 2012

The More Things Change....

Source: 1909 G.W. Bromley atlas, courtesy Phila Geo History
Glance at any map of West Philadelphia and there it is, almost a bull’s eye: the massive, ungridded expanse bounded by 42nd and 49th Streets, Market Street and Haverford Avenue. All this used to be the grounds of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane (later the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital) and indeed the western section of the site is still used for its original purpose, a “behavioral health services center” inside the old Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. Over the course of half a century it was subdivided–first into the monumental, state capitol-like Provident Mutual headquarters and then later into Drexel University’s Vidas Athletic Complex, the West Park Towers, some affordable housing flanking 46th, and most recently, a few pad commercial sites.

As the property was subdivided, each new use was inserted as if in a vacuum. No physical connections were made ... Read more at Hidden City Philadelphia.

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