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tution, a portion of which is laid out in lawn and walks along the river front, another portion is devoted to gardens for supplying vegetables and fruit, and the rest is left in meadow or pasture land for the cattle of the establishment.
The principal front of the pile faces towards the east, looking down on the Schuylkill River, and across it towards the City of Philadelphia, from which it is separated by this stream. The front is composed of a centre and two wings; the centre is ninety feet in length and three stories in height, and presents a fine portico of eight pillars, surmounted by a pediment reposing on a granite basement, the ascent to which is by a flight of twenty steps, so that the whole edifice possesses a commanding elevation. In this division are the rooms of the superintendent, physician, steward, and guar. dians, their offices, with dining-room, kitchen, and two fireproof rooms. On the ground floor is the dining-room for the male inmates of the institution, capable of accommodating 500 persons, and an extensive kitchen, in which all the culinary operations are performed by steam.
The north and south wings of this front are appropriated to the use of the male paupers. They are three stories high, with five wards on a floor, containing 112 well-ventilated dormitories, each for one bed only. Each ward is about 40 feet square, and in the centre of the whole is an open space of about 24 feet, the use of which is common to the inmates of all the wards. The number of wards and dor. mitories is the same on each floor, and connected with each there are spacious corridors 10 feet in width.
The western front is occupied as the Almshouse for the women, who are kept apart from the men; and in its general arrangement it resembles the former. At the northwestern corner of the square is a building occupied by the aged and blind among the females, and here also is the obstetric ward and the nursery; while in another portion of the edifice, in the upper story of the river front, are apartments for the more aged and infirm of the male paupers, who are taken every care of.
At the northeast corner of the square is the asylum for the children, in which there are upward of 150 of both sexes. In addition to the subsistence afforded to these, care is taken to furnish them with healthy recreation and proper instruction. For this purpose a large schoolroom is prepared, and teachers are employed who train them in good habits and good morals, as well as cultivate their understandings; and many of them being orphans, they are
THE NEW ALMSHOUSE.
subsequently placed out by the institution into situations in which they are enabled to earn their own subsistence.
The north building is appropriated to manufacturing purposes, and is called "The House of Employment.” In this the inmates are employed in the manufacture of woollen and cotton cloths, grinding flour, and performing such other works of handicraft as they are acquainted with or can be taught. A steam-engine of 12 horse power propels machinery for various purposes, and the whole forms a scene of healthy activity and industry.
The Hospital occupies another range of the buildings, the sexes being separated here as elsewhere; and a separate portion being set aside for the insane, of whom there are upward of a hundred. An excellent Dispensary, and an extensive medical library, as well as a lecture-room capable of accommodating 800 persons, form parts of this establishment; and adjoining to the hospital is the principal gar. den, which affords agreeable walks for the invalids and convalescents.
In the centre of the square formed by the buildings is a spacious wash-house, with an elevated steeple and an illuminated dial-clock. There is also a store, to which all the articles manufactured at the institution are brought in to deposite previous to their being issued from thence to the respective wards for which they may be required.
The whole cost of the erection of this building exceeded a million of dollars, and its annual expense is about 150,000 dollars. The building fund and annual cost are both raised by a municipal tax on the city and liberties of Philadelphia, which amounted to about one per cent. on the assessment of real property for the former, and about half per cent. on the rentals of dwellings for the latter. The number of inmates is about 2000 in winter and 1500 in summer, n. cluding about 200 lunatics and 150 children. In all, the males predominate over the females in the proportion of about 9 to 6. The average cost of maintenance is about a dollar for each person per week.
We were taken over the establishment by the superintendent, and were permitted to examine every part of it; and although our visit was wholly unexpected and without notice, it filled us with admiration to see the cleanliness, order, and perfect condition of every department. The kitchen, with its steam apparatus and utensils, was the most perfect that could be imagined; the floors were everywhere clean enough to be used as tables; the tin and pewter ves.
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sels were polished like mirrors; the bed and table linen exquisitely clean; the walls white as snow; the ventilation perfect; and, in short, taking house, grounds, site, prospect, offices, and interior arrangement into consideration, it may with confidence be asserted that a nobler almshouse than this is not to be found in the whole world.
The Marine Hospital is another of the benevolent institutions of Philadelphia well worthy of a visit by the stranger. It is not far from the Almshouse just described, but is seated on the east side of the Schuylkill, while the former is on the west. It has a finely-elevated position, being 50 feet above high-water mark, which, in the general level of the surrounding tract, is sufficient to ensure it a commanding prospect and fine air.
In England there being but one metropolis, and the great Naval Asylum of Greenwich Hospital being planted there, everything belonging to it is on a scale of corresponding magnitude. But in America, where every separate state has its own metropolis, institutions of this description exist in every great seaport, and, consequently, from being more numerous, they are each on a smaller scale.
The Marine Hospital at Philadelphia, or the United States' Naval Asylum, as it is more generally called, is nevertheless a building of considerable size and ample accommodation. It stands on a fine open piece of ground, surrounded with lawn, and presents a front to the east of 386 feet in length, which includes a centre building and two wings. The centre building is 142 feet in length by 175 in depth. It has a fine Ionic portico of eight marble columns, surmounted with
e pediment; and the ascent to the portico being by a flight of marble steps, the whole has an imposing aspect. The plan of the building was designed by the city architect, Mr. Strickland, and the details are said to be from an Ionic tem ple on the Ilyssus, near Athens.
The two wings have a basement of granite, above which are three stories, all of fine white marble, like the portico and steps; along the front of these wings run three verandahs, one to each story, which are supported by 88 iron pil. lars resting on granite piers, with an iron railing or breast, work strikingly resembling the quarter-deck nettings in a ship-of-war, but whether the resemblance was accidental or intentional I could not learn.
In the basement of the centre building is a dining-room 113 feet long, and the general kitchen of the establishment, with a furnace, from whence flues proceed for heating the whole building. From this story the communication to all the upper ones is by geometrical staircases of marble. In the first floor of this central building are, on the front, eight parlours for offices, and in the rear a chapel 56 feet square, lighted from the dome. On either side of these are the Dispensary, surgeons' and apothecaries' departments, and baths. In the third story are the sleeping-rooms of the officers, and a separate department for the insane.
In the wings are the general dormitories, of which there are 180 in number, these capable of accommodating 400 persons; and, being all vaulted, they are spacious and airy, as well as substantial and secure.
The whole edifice is built of fine white Pennsylvania mar. ble, and cost 250,000 dollars in its erection, the funds for which were furnished by the General Government. The custom of receiving from all the seamen of the Union the contribution of twenty cents per month for the support of such institutions, exists here, as it does in England, where sixpence per month hospital-money has been received from mercantile seamen for years past for a similar purpose. There is this essential difference, however, that the merchant seamen of England, who pay their sixpence per month to the support of Greenwich Hospital, are not eligible to the enjoyment of its advantages when they grow old and are worn out, as that establishment receives only the seamen of the royal navy; whereas in America, as all contribute, so all are eligible to enjoy the benefits for which they pay. Accordingly, the wornout seamen of the American mer, chant-ship can enter this asylum as freely as the veteran of
! the ship-of-war; and as, in a national point of view, the seamen who conduct the commerce of a country are as much entitled to support and protection in their old age 2 the seamen who fight its battles, it is but justice that both should be put on the same footing, especially when both contribute towards the same fund.
From the rear, or western front of this asylum, the view is extensive and beautiful, embracing the winding of the Schuylkill, the Waterworks of Fair Mount, the Almshouse on the opposite bank of the river, the State Penitentiary, and Girard College, while the moving scenery of the smallcraft and boats perpetually passing up and down the stream add greatly to the interest of the scene. | Notwithstanding this, the institution is not so much resort. ed to by sailors as those of Norfolk, Staten Island, and Boston; because on these, the vicinity of the ocean, and the constant passing to and fro of large ships, is a source of pleasure to them which these smaller river-craft never can afford. No doubt one of the great charms of Greenwich Hospital to the British mariner is the constant succession of ships of every size and form that pass every hour of the day up and down the Thames before their eyes, giving scope for nautical criticism and maritime jokes as to the respective styles of handling ships under weigh; but the same class of beings who are perfectly happy on the ever-varying banks of the Thames at Greenwich, would die of ennui if removed farther up the same stream, though surrounded by all the softer beauties of Twickenham or Richmond Hill.
History and Description of the Pennsylvania Hospital. -- Statistics of its Patients and 'Cures.- Financial Resources of the Establishment.—Treatment and Condition of the Insane.
One of the noblest and most extensively useful of all the benevolent institutions is the Pennsylvania Hospital, situated in the very heart of Philadelphia. To this I had the oppor. tunity of making a long and interesting visit, devoting an en. tire day to the purpose, and being accompanied by Mr. Nicholas Biddle and Dr. Bell, from whom and from the resident director, answers to every inquiry were readily obtained.