Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia

The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, also known as Kirkbride's Hospital or the Pennsylvania Hospital for Mental and Nervous Diseases, was a psychiatric hospital located at 48th and Haverford Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It operated from its founding in 1841 until 1997. The remaining building, now called the Kirkbride Center is now part of the Blackwell Human Services Campus.
Two large hospital structures and an elaborate pleasure ground were built on a campus that stretched along the north side of Market Street, from 45th to 49th Streets. Thomas Story Kirkbride, the hospital's first superintendent and physician-in-chief, developed a more humane method of treatment for the mentally ill there, that became widely influential. The hospital's plan became a prototype for a generation of institutions for the treatment of the mentally ill nationwide. The surviving 1859 building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
19th centuryPennsylvania Asylum for the Insane—Kirkbride's HospitalIn the late 1830s, the managers of Pennsylvania Hospital began erecting a large asylum to replace the hospital's crowded insane wards at 8th and Spruce Streets. The 101acre site chosen was a former farm in the as-yet unincorporated district of West Philadelphia. The first structure for the Pennsylvania Asylum for the Insane was designed by Isaac Holden and was located near what is now 46th and Market Streets. Completed in 1841, the facility offered comforts and a "humane treatment" philosophy that set a standard for its day. Unlike other asylums where patients were often kept chained in crowded, unsanitary wards with little if any treatment, patients at the Pennsylvania Asylum resided in private rooms, received medical treatment, worked outdoors and enjoyed recreational activities including lectures and a use of the hospital library. The facility came to be called "Kirkbride's Hospital."
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Pennsylvania Hospital Reviews
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  • One of the best hospitals in the Philliy area. The personnel are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly.  more »
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  • My mother had a procedure here, they made her feel comfortable and really treated her well. I appreciate all the staff
  • Nurses and doctors were very nice, but definitely rushing me out even though I was so sick from the anesthesia. I was also disappointed that no one called me the day after my surgery to see how I was doing. All of my other procedures were done at Main Line hospitals and at least a nurse always called to check in on how I was recovering. Even the doctor usually calls to check in. I didn’t even talk to my doctor about how my procedure went. I just felt like this was poor bedside manner and I expected more.

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