The original Pennsylvania Hospital, like so much in civic Philadelphia, owes its presence to Benjamin Franklin. This was the first hospital in the Colonies, and it seemed like a strange venture into social welfare at the time. Samuel Rhoads, a fine architect in the Carpenters' Company, designed the Georgian headquarters. The east wing, nearest 8th Street, was completed in 1755, and a west wing matched it in 1797. The grand Center Building by David Evans completed the ensemble in 1804. Instead of a dome, the hospital decided on a surgical amphitheater skylight. In spring, the garden's azaleas brighten the neighborhood and are a popular spot for wedding photos. The beautifully designed herb garden (highlighting plants used as medicines in the 18th c.) is very popular.
- © Frommer's 2013
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